NB_300_19_24_ - NB 300-19-24 LTP – Water Bank Program (WBP) – Fiscal Year (FY) 2019
NB 300-19-24 LTP – Water Bank Program (WBP) – Fiscal Year (FY) 2019
National Bulletin: 300-19-24 Date: April 17, 2019
Subject: LTP – Water Bank Program (WBP) – Fiscal Year (FY) 2019  

Action Required By:  September 30, 2019
Purpose.  To provide State Conservationists (STCs) in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota with guidance for administering the FY 2019 Water Bank Program (WBP).    
Expiration Date.  September 30, 2019   
Background.  The purpose of WBP is to preserve and improve major wetlands as habitat for migratory waterfowl and other wildlife, conserve surface waters, reduce runoff and soil and wind erosion, contribute to flood control, improve water quality, improve subsurface moisture, and enhance the natural beauty of the landscape.         

Explanation.  In FY 2019, Congress appropriated $4 million to fund the WBP in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. A portion of technical assistance funds will be distributed to these States.

To support the FY 2019 implementation of WBP, STCs must do the following:

A. Advertise and conduct a signup upon receipt of this national bulletin.

B. The National Easement Staging Tool (NEST) is the system of record for WBP data. All NEST policy identified in NB 440-19-2 should be adhered to unless specifically stated otherwise in this national bulletin. Each State is required to enter all applicable data in NEST by close of business, Monday, June 17, 2019. Unfunded prior-year applications that have been rolled over may be considered to receive FY 2019 funding if eligibility criteria are met. This information will be analyzed by Dave Mason, WBP Manager, and financial assistance (FA) allocations will be made to States based upon the analyzed NEST application data.

C. States are to obligate funds to agreements by Friday, August 16, 2019.

D. States are to make FY 2019 agreement rental payments by Friday, September 20, 2019.

E. States are to refer to the implementation guidance for participant and land eligibility, establishing ranking criteria, program participant requirements, the conservation plan of operations, and annual status review guidance.

F. The WBP will be administered following policy in Title 120, General Manual, Part 404 “Land Treatment Long-Term Contracting.” The WBP is neither a Farm Bill program nor is it administered through ProTracts; therefore, policy and procedures contained within Title 440, Conservation Programs Manual, Part 512, “Conservation Program Contracting,” do not apply. These WBP funds are NRCS funds.

G. States must keep NEST data accurate and up-to-date as projects progress through the enrollment process. States must enter all applicable application and agreement data into NEST prior to the end-of-year NEST maintenance period. At a minimum, States should enter all data related to actions occurring in any quarter prior to the end of the quarter in which the action occurred.

H. The forms to be used for WBP are attached.

Contact.  If you have any questions, contact Dave Mason, Water Bank Program manager, at (202) 260-9232 or dave.mason@wdc.usda.gov     



Deputy Chief   



 Attachment A    Attachment F     Attachment K

Attachment B     Attachment G

Attachment C     Attachment H

Attachment D     Attachment I

Attachment E      Attachment J

[NB_300_19_24_ - ]