NRCS, Reclamation Sign Water Conservation Partnership Agreement

On Nov. 29, officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA -- NRCS) and the U.S. Department of Interior's (DOI) Bureau of Reclamation signed a five-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) to coordinate agency efforts for efficient use and long-term sustainability of available water supplies for agricultural production and other beneficial uses.

"Cooperation between NRCS and Reclamation will help focus resources and support better management of available water supplies across the 17 Western states," Reclamation Commissioner John Keys said. "In particular, this level of coordination will benefit those Western areas seeking drought relief assistance."

Some highlights of the agreement include:

  • Support for locally-led cooperative conservation projects regarding efficient water management.
  • Developing and implementing specific plans of action for cooperative conservation activities.
  • Support for state and locally organized drought action teams.
  • Identifying joint research needs and opportunities for field application of new technology.
  • Joint USDA-DOI training, conferences, seminars and education programs.
  • Designated agency liaisons to communicate and coordinate activities at the national, regional, state and local levels.

Reclamation conducts business only in the 17 Western States: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Additional information on NRCS is available at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov and at http://www.usbr.gov.

This article originally appeared in the 12/01/2005 issue of Environmental Protection.

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