Kansas NRCS announces $2.5M Ogallala Aquifer Initiative

SALINA— In a press release Friday, the U. S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service in Kansas announced it will provide approximately $2.5 million in fiscal year 2014 to conserve water in the Ogallala Aquifer through the Ogallala Aquifer Initiative.

Ogallala aquifer

Ogallala aquifer

Applications are accepted on a continuous basis, but to be considered for FY2014 funds, the application cutoff date is March 21. The NRCS will fund this initiative through its Environmental Quality Incentives Program.

“The Ogallala Aquifer Initiative allows agriculture producers to implement conservation practices such as irrigation water management, crop rotations, and replacing inefficient gravity irrigation systems,” said Eric B. Banks, NRCS state conservationist for NRCS. “These conservation practices directly benefit the water quality and water quantity issues in this aquifer.”

Much of the High Plains region relies on the Ogallala for water, but the water in the Ogallala Aquifer is diminishing because of widespread irrigation use in the High Plains states.

The Ogallala Aquifer, also known as the High Plains Aquifer, is a vast, yet shallow underground water table aquifer located beneath the Great Plains in the United States. It is one of the world’s largest aquifers and covers an area in portions of eight states: Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming.
For more information, visit www.ks.nrcs.usda.gov or contact your local USDA Service Center.