NB_300_21_25 - NB 300-21-25 LTP – EQIP WaterSMART Initiative (EQIP-WSI) Priority Area Solicitation FY 2022
NB 300-21-25 LTP – EQIP WaterSMART Initiative (EQIP-WSI) Priority Area Solicitation FY 2022
National Bulletin: 300-21-25 Date: April 9, 2021
Subject: LTP – EQIP WaterSMART Initiative (EQIP-WSI) Priority Area Solicitation FY 2022


Action Required By:  June 4, 2021
 

Purpose.   To provide State conservationists (STCs) and area directors with requirements for submitting proposals for new EQIP-WSI priority areas.

This bulletin applies to Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and all U.S. Territories.    

 

Expiration Date.  September 30, 2021

 

Background.  EQIP-WSI is a collaborative effort to target EQIP funding for water quantity and related resource concerns in a way that complements Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) investments made through WaterSMART Programs. Through WaterSMART, Reclamation supports States, tribes, and local entities as they plan for and implement actions to increase water supply through investments to modernize existing infrastructure and attention to local water conflicts. This collaboration between NRCS and Reclamation is a priority of the National Drought Resilience Partnership (NDRP), a federal partnership to enhance the Nation’s drought resilience. Coordinating both agencies’ investments can improve their cumulative impact on water conservation and drought resilience.

EQIP-WSI is implemented in priority areas as proposed by STCs and selected in a competitive process.

 

Explanation.  Each EQIP-WSI priority area proposal must use the template in Attachment A to identify:

  • the specific Reclamation WaterSMART Program project EQIP-WSI activities will complement,
  • how EQIP-WSI assistance complements activities in the identified Reclamation WaterSMART project,
  • the primary and as applicable secondary priority resource concerns to be addressed,
  • an estimate of conservation practices or activities needed to address priority resource concerns,
  • an estimate of contracts and EQIP-WSI FA needed annually for up to five years, and
  • measures and metrics for monitoring and reporting progress and evaluating final outcomes.

The template in Attachment A provides the required proposal format for proposing new EQIP-WSI priority areas in the State. STCs may and are encouraged to submit more than one proposal.

A list of agriculture-related Reclamation WaterSMART Program funded projects is included as Attachment B. Reclamation WaterSMART Programs include but are not limited to:

  • Water and Energy Efficiency Grants (WEEG),
  • Small-scale Water Efficiency Project Grants (SWEP),
  • Drought Response Program Grants (DRP), or
  • Cooperative Watershed Management Program Grants (CWMP).

STCs may propose an EQIP-WSI priority area that complements a project not included in Attachment B. In this case, the EQIP-WSI proposal must include a copy of the Reclamation WaterSMART project description. If the Reclamation WaterSMART project is a planning or study type of project, the page describing the implementation project being complemented must be identified. The Areawide Planning Branch can facilitate communication between STCs and national or regional Reclamation staff about all proposed joint efforts as necessary.

EQIP-WSI assistance must identify conservation practices or activities that address the priority water quantity resource concerns in the area. Practices needed to address related secondary resource concerns or components may also be identified.

For a State to receive EQIP-WSI funding in FY 2022, STCs must submit a proposal as described in this bulletin and that proposal must be selected for funding.

All EQIP-WSI priority area proposals must be submitted together in one email by STCs to Dan Dostie at daniel.dostie@usda.gov by June 4, 2021. Proposals will be evaluated by a team of subject matter experts and prioritized based on how well the EQIP priority area activities complement the Reclamation WaterSMART project activities. Following the receipt of State annual funding allocation letters, States will receive a notification of which EQIP-WSI priority areas are approved for implementation.

 

Contact.  Contact Dan Dostie, Conservation Initiatives Coordinator, Water Management, at (202) 807-9714 or by email at daniel.dostie@usda.gov with any questions about this bulletin.

 
 


 /s/

JIMMY BRAMBLETT
Deputy Chief for Programs

      

 
             

Attachment A - EQIP-WSI 2021 Proposal Template

Attachment B – Reclamation WaterSMART Ag Projects 2010-2021

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