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THE NORTH CAROLINA AGRICULTURAL WATER RESOURCES ASSISTANCE PROGRAM NC Water Resources Congress October 30, 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "THE NORTH CAROLINA AGRICULTURAL WATER RESOURCES ASSISTANCE PROGRAM NC Water Resources Congress October 30, 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 THE NORTH CAROLINA AGRICULTURAL WATER RESOURCES ASSISTANCE PROGRAM NC Water Resources Congress October 30, 2014

2 Objectives Background & organizational overview Purpose and goals of AgWRAP – Cooperator requirements – Allocations – Best management practices Questions

3 NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services: Division of Soil & Water Conservation  Cost share assistance  NPS management  Soil interpretative services  Engineering design & support  Animal waste management technical support  Conservation easements  Environmental education & outreach

4 Supervises Cost Share Programs Approves eligible practices Sets policy and costs Allocates funding North Carolina Soil & Water Conservation Commission

5 Commission Cost Share Programs Agriculture Cost Share Program (ACSP) – Addresses water quality problems on agricultural lands Community Conservation Assistance Program (CCAP) – Addresses water quality problems on non-agricultural lands Agricultural Water Resources Assistance Program (AgWRAP) – Addresses water quantity needs on agricultural lands

6 Independent units of government 96 districts cover all counties 492 officials (3 elected & 2 appointed) 265 local employees Non-regulatory; voluntary Identify local natural resource needs 1.Serve as a delivery mechanism for Division’s technical & financial programs to landowners and citizens 2.Address a wide range of land use issues – not just agriculture 3.Receive significant financial & administrative support from county government 4.Provide buffer between regulatory programs & landowners 5.Deliver environmental education and outreach

7 Program process The commission solicits requests for program funding from districts annually All districts that request an allocation receive program funding based on commission approved allocation parameters Programs are implemented locally by districts working directly with landowners and operators

8 AgWRAP AgWRAP was established through S.L to assist farmers and landowners in doing any one or more of the following: – Identify opportunities to increase water use efficiency, availability and storage; – Implement best management practices (BMPs) to conserve and protect water resources; – Increase water use efficiency; – Increase water storage and availability for agricultural purposes.

9 FY2015 AgWRAP Annual Goals 1.Conduct a competitive regional allocation process for selected AgWRAP BMPs. 2.Allocate funds to soil and water conservation districts for all BMPs. 3.Implement Job Approval Authority Process for AgWRAP BMPs. 4.Conduct training for districts. More detailed information is available in the Fiscal Year 2015 Detailed Implementation Plan:

10 Cooperator Requirements The agricultural water definition, from Protecting Agriculture Water Resources in North Carolina Strategic Plan (February 2011), determines eligibility for AgWRAP. Applicants must provide documentation to demonstrate eligibility. Operations must have been in existence for more than one year Expansions to existing operations are eligible for the program.

11 Cooperator Requirements (continued) The percent cost share for all BMPs is 75%. – Limited resource and beginning farmers and farmers enrolled in Enhanced Voluntary Agriculture Districts are eligible to receive 90% cost share. The contract maintenance period for all practices, excluding agricultural pond sediment removal, is 10 years. Soil and water conservation districts can adopt additional guidelines for the program as they implement AgWRAP locally. All participants must have a conservation plan.

12 Allocation of FY2015 funds $1,477,500 - $1M is non-recurring Pilot program approach continues while rule making is underway Due to the high cost of some of the program’s eligible best management practices, and the limited funding for the program, the Commission awarded two allocations for AgWRAP. 1. Competitive regional application process for new pond construction and pond repair/retrofits: 55% of available BMP funding ~$805,600 Agricultural Water Supply/Reuse Pond Agricultural Pond Repair/Retrofit 2. District allocations: 45% of available BMP funding: $662,169 All AgWRAP BMPs

13 Contract Timeline Contracts must submitted by June 3, 2015 Two batching periods for regional applications: – November 7: January Commission Meeting – February 11: March Commission Meeting All FY2015 BMPs must be installed by June 30, 2017

14 District Allocation Parameters Number of farms (20%) Acres of agriculture (20%) Agriculture water use (20%) Agriculture receipts (10%) Population density (30%)

15 Best Management Practices Agricultural Water Supply/Reuse Pond Agricultural Pond Repair/Retrofit Agricultural Pond Sediment Removal Agricultural Water Collection and Reuse System Baseflow interceptor (streamside pickup) Conservation Irrigation Conversion Micro-Irrigation System Water Supply Well

16 Goals for regional allocation Fund a minimum of one pond & pond repair/retrofit per geographic area: Coastal Plain, Piedmont, Mountain Goal to distribute funding for projects among a variety of agricultural sectors.

17 AgWRAP Funding Fiscal YearState Appropriation 2012$1,000, $500, $1,000, $1,477,500 Up to 15% of these funds can be used by the Division of Soil and Water Conservation and districts to provide technical and engineering assistance, and to administer the program.

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19 Water Supply Wells

20 Ag Pond Sediment Removal

21 New Ag Ponds

22 For more information To apply for AgWRAP Contact your local soil and water conservation districtlocal soil and water conservation district Policies and BMPs Julie Henshaw (919) Technical assistance and Job Approval Authority Natalie Woolard (252)


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