North Plains Groundwater Conservation District (NPGCD) teams up with the United States Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) and other groundwater conservation districts for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). The RCPP provides $300,000 annually to those within the districts to enhance water conservation practices.
The RCPP encourages agricultural water-users to use less water from the Ogallala aquifer by addressing irrigation efficiency and moisture management concerns through adoption of on-farm water conservation strategies or improved irrigation efficiency.
The RCPP priority areas and partners include High Plains UWCD, Hemphill County UWCD, Llano Estacado UWCD, Mesa UWCD, NPGCD, Sandy Land UWCD, and South Plains UWCD. High Plains Underground Water Conservation District (HPWD) in Lubbock will serve as the lead partner for the five-year program (2016-2020). Participating groundwater conservation districts do not receive any funding for the program-but will be providing in-kind services to assist with water conservation efforts.
RCPP builds upon existing USDA-NRCS programs to address water conservation needs. Some of these programs include the Agriculture Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), and Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).
According to the USDA-NRCS, the conservation program encourages partners to join efforts with producers to increase the restoration/sustainable use of soil, water, wildlife, and other related natural resources on a regional or watershed basis. The NRCS and its partners will help producers install and maintain conservation practices in selected project areas. Partners leverage RCPP funding and report on benefits achieved. RCPP will address irrigation water management and soil moisture management in the Panhandle-South Plains region.
USDA-NRCS allocated approximately $300,000 per year for those within the seven participating groundwater conservation districts. This project will result in enhanced adoption of conservation equipment such as flow meters, soil moisture monitoring equipment and chemigation check valves.
Participation in RCPP is entirely voluntary. Interested producers can now sign up for the program at their local USDA-NRCS service center. USDA-NRCS personnel will contact district staff when the equipment is ready for final inspection and verification.
Additional information about RCPP is available at https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/programs/farmbill/rcpp/. USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.
For more information on the RCPP contact Darren Richardson, Asst. State Conservationist, USDA-NRCS, Lubbock, (806) 283-9924 firstname.lastname@example.org, or Quenna Terry, USDA-NRCS Public Affairs Specialist, (806) 283-9935 email@example.com.