ALAMOSA — The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Colorado, in partnership with the Rio Grande Water Conservation District- Special Improvement District #1 (Subdistrict #1) recently announced funding availability to assist producers in addressing issues of drought and aquifer depletions within Subdistrict #1. The Colorado Rio Grande RCPP Project will provide expertise and financial incentives to successful applicants that reduce water consumption, enhance soil moisture retention capabilities, and improve overall soil health. Applications must be received by October 19.
Subdistrict #1 is located in portions of Alamosa, Rio Grande, and Saguache counties and was recognized as a legal entity in 2006. The subdistrict was formed in order to take action and help restore a balance between available water supplies and current levels of water use so that the San Luis Valley can continue to remain a sustainable agricultural community.
The RCPP funds awarded for this project from NRCS will be matched by funds made available through Subdistrict #1 on a one-to-one basis for practices that are implemented and result in a net savings of irrigation water. Many irrigation water management practices such as weather stations, soil moisture monitoring systems, residue management, conservation crops, and others will be made available to eligible producers that wish to voluntarily enroll into this program.
This project will also provide assistance and incentives to producers who voluntarily fallow irrigation land to conserve irrigation water. Rotational practices and cover crop plantings and management will not only assist landowners in better managing their irrigation water, but will also provide soil erosion and soil health benefits. The application of these practices will reduce pumping costs and hopefully contribute to an improved aquifer and increased streamflows.
For more information on the Colorado Rio Grande RCPP project, visit the Colorado NRCS Website at www.co.nrcs.usda.gov or contact your local NRCS field office office located in the USDA service center that services your county. You may also contact the RGWCD-Subdistrict #1 office in Alamosa, at 719-589-6301. The deadline to submit applications is October 19.