To date, Federal assistance for installation has been authorized on 1,756 watershed projects.
This program provides technical and financial assistance to State agencies and units of local government in solving problems caused by flooding, erosion and sediment damage, conservation, development, utilization, and disposal of water, including the development of multipurpose facilities for such uses as recreation, improvement of fish and wild-life habitat, irrigation, and water supply to municipal and industrial users.
Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.
In fiscal year 2000, 6 projects were approved for operations. A total of 518 projects in construction. Projects installed as planned under the program totaled 918. In fiscal year 2002, it is estimated that 8 projects will be approved for operations, 512 projects will be in construction, and 931 projects will be installed as planned under the program.
Uses and Use Restrictions
Technical assistance is provided in designing, and installing watershed works of improvement.
Financial assistance is provided for sharing costs of measures for watershed protection, flood prevention, agricultural water management, sedimentation control, public water based fish, wildlife, recreation; and in extending long term credit to help local interests with their share of the costs.
Watershed area must not exceed 250,000 acres.
Capacity of a single structure is limited to 25,000 acre-feet of total capacity and 12,500 acre-feet of floodwater detention capacity.
Any State agency, county or groups of counties, municipality, town or township, soil and water conservation district, flood prevention or flood control district, Indian tribe or tribal organization, or any other nonprofit agency with authority under State law to carry out, maintain, and operate watershed works of improvement may apply for assistance.
This program is available in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Mariana Islands and the Trust Territories of the Pacific Islands.
Any State agency, county or groups of counties, municipality, town or township, soil and water conservation district, flood prevention or flood control district, Indian tribe or tribal organization, or any other nonprofit agency with authority under State law to carry out, maintain, and operate watershed works of improvement may apply for assistance. This program is available in Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Mariana Islands, and the Trust Territories of the Pacific Islands.
Applications must designate the proposed project area, be properly signed and attested to by all applicants, and set forth the need for the proposed project. Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-87 for State and local governments.
Aplication and Award Process
The standard application forms, as furnished by the Federal agency and required by OMB Circular No.
A-102, must be used for this program.
Environmental assessments or an Environmental impact statements are required for all projects.
This program is eligible for coverage under E.O.
12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the Single Point of Contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.
Application forms and information are available in all NRCS offices and from designated State agencies. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110.
Details of the procedure are available from the State and field offices of the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act, Public Law 83-566, 68 Stat. 666, as amended; Public Law 84-1018, 70 Stat. 1088; Public Law 85-624, 72 Stat. 563; Public Law 85-865, 72 Stat. 1605; Public Law 86-468, 74 Stat. 131, 132; Public Law 86-545, 74 Stat. 254; Public Law 87-170, 75 Stat. 408; Public Law 87-703, 76 Stat. 608; Public Law 89-337, 79 Stat. 1300; Public Law 90-361, 82 Stat. 250; Public Law 92-419, 86 Stat. 667; Public Law 95-113, 91 Stat. 913; Public Law 97-98, 95 Stat. 1213; Public Law 99-662, 100 Stat. 4196; Public Law 101-624, 104 Stat. 3359.
Range of Approval/Disapproval Time
Receipt of the application is acknowledged as soon as it is determined to be valid.
Formula and Matching Requirements
Technical and financial assistance under which program funds provide certain prescribed services and costs and a percentage of other costs on the basis of a contract vary according to purpose of the works of improvement. For example, for construction costs under the Act, program funds provide 100 percent for flood prevention; up to 50 percent of agricultural water management, public recreation and fish and wildlife purposes; and none of the costs for certain other nonagricultural water management purposes. All of the applicants' installation costs are eligible for program loans. Reimbursable advances are available for preservation of sites and future municipal water supply. Sponsors are required to obtain all land and water rights and permits prior to installation of project measures, and for operation and maintenance.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Continues until all works of improvement are installed or their installation is terminated by mutual agreement.
Post Assistance Requirements
Annual operation and maintenance inspection and report.
In accordance with the provisions of 7 CFR Part 3052, "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," which implement OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 7 CFR 3052.
Records of operation and maintenance activities are maintained for the life of the project.
(Grants watershed and flood prevention operations) FY 07 $17,974,600; FY 08 est $0; and FY 09 est not reported. (Salaries and Expenses, watershed and flood prevention operations) FY 07 $17,258,000; FY 08 est $0; and FY 09 est not reported.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
(per State) $0 to $2,164,000; $650,000.
Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature
"What is a Watershed," PA-420; "Flood Plain Management - Why We Need It," PA-1276; "Multiple- Purpose Watershed Projects," PA-575; and "Small Watershed Projects," PA- 1354.
Regional or Local Office
For list of NRCS State offices with telephone numbers and addresses, see Appendix IV of the Catalog.
Conservation Planning and Technical Assistance Division, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 2890, Washington, DC 20013. Telephone: (202) 720-1510. Stuart Simpson, USDA/NRCS, Conservation Planning Technical Assistance Division, Room 6015, P.O. Box 2890 Washington, DC 20013-2890. Telephone: (202) 720-3413.
Criteria for Selecting Proposals
(1) The watershed must meet the requirements of the law; (2) an approved watershed plan has been prepared; (3) the local sponsors should indicate willingness to carry out a watershed project; (4) the project has environmental, economic and social benefits that exceed the costs for a favorable benefit-cost ratio; and (5) no critical environmental issues exist.