Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention

To provide technical and financial assistance in carrying out works of improvement to protect, develop, and utilize the land and water resources in watersheds.

Agency - Department of Agriculture

Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.

Office - See Regional Agency Offices.

For list of NRCS State offices with telephone numbers and addresses, see Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Selected Recipients for this Program

RecipientAmount Start DateEnd Date
Johnston, Town Of $ 304,936   2011-12-072013-09-30
Agriculture, Hawaii Department Of $ 825,000   2011-09-132012-09-30
Alameda County R C D $ 775,000   2011-07-292012-09-30
Agriculture, Hawaii Department Of $ 790,000   2011-06-012012-09-30
Agriculture, Hawaii Department Of $ 27,750   2011-04-082012-09-30
Two Rivers Watershed District $ 850,000   2011-03-032012-09-30
Heeter Construction, Inc. $ 587,067   2011-03-152012-09-30
Darlington Cty Treasurer $ 88,000   2010-10-062012-09-30
Darlington Cty Treasurer $ 2,550,000   2010-10-062012-09-30
Sdt Contractors Inc. $ 191,695   2010-09-132011-09-30

Program Accomplishments

Not Applicable.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Technical assistance is provided in planning, designing, and installing watershed works of improvement.

Financial assistance is provided for sharing costs of implementing measures for watershed protection, flood prevention, agricultural water management, sedimentation control, public water based fish, wildlife, recreation; municipal and industrial water supply.

Authorized watershed area must not exceed 250,000 acres.

Capacity of a single structure is limited to 25,000 acre-feet of total capacity and 12,500 acre-feet of floodwater detention.


Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Any State agency, county or groups of counties, municipality, town or township, soil and water conservation district, flood prevention or flood control district, Indian tribe or tribal organization, or any other nonprofit agency with authority under State law to levy taxes, condemnation authority, and to carry out maintenance, and operate watershed works of improvement may apply for assistance.

This program is available in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Mariana Islands and the Trust Territories of the Pacific Islands.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Not applicable.


Applications must designate the proposed project area, be properly signed and attested to by all applicants, and set forth the need for the proposed project. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is required.

An environmental impact statement is required for this program.

An environmental impact assessment is required for this program.

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O.

12372, 'Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.' An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Application Procedures

2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Application forms and information are available in all NRCS offices and from designated State agencies.

Award Procedures

Details of the procedure are available from the State and field offices of the Natural Resources Conservation Service.


Not Applicable.


Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act, Public Law 83-566, 68 Stat. 666; as amended; Public Law 84-1018, 70 Stat. 1088; Public Law 85-865, 72 Stat. 1605; Public Law 86-468, 74 Stat. 131, 132; Public Law 86-545, 74 Stat. 254; Public Law 87-703, 76 Stat. 608; Public Law 90-361, 82 Stat. 250; American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Public Law 111-5.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Receipt of the application is acknowledged as soon as it is determined to be valid.


Not Applicable.


Not Applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula. Matching Requirements: Technical and financial assistance under which program funds provide certain prescribed services and costs and a percentage of other costs on the basis of a contract vary according to purpose of the works of improvement. For example, for construction costs under the Act, program funds provide 100 percent for flood prevention; up to 50 percent of agricultural water management, public recreation and fish and wildlife purposes; and none of the costs for certain other nonagricultural water management purposes. All of the applicants' installation costs are eligible for program loans. Reimbursable advances are available for preservation of sites and future municipal water supply. Sponsors are required to obtain all land and water rights and permits prior to installation of project measures, and for operation and maintenance. MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Continues until all works of improvement are installed or their installation is terminated by mutual agreement. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: lump sum.

Post Assistance Requirements


Annual operation and maintenance inspection and report are conducted by sponsors of project.

Cash reports are not applicable.

Annual operation and maintenance inspection and report.

Expenditure reports are not applicable.

Annual operation and maintenance inspection and report.


In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503.


Records of operation and maintenance activities are maintained for the life of the project.

Financial Information

Account Identification

12-1000-0-1-302; 12-1072-0-1-301.


(Salaries) FY 16 $10,606,000; FY 17 est $969,000; and FY 18 est $0. (Project Grants (Cooperative Agreements)) FY 16 $24,000; FY 17 est $221,000; and FY 18 est $0

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

(per State) $0 to $2,164,000; $650,000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

'What is a Watershed,' PA-420; 'Flood Plain Management - Why We Need It,' PA-1276; 'Multiple- Purpose Watershed Projects,' PA-575; and 'Small Watershed Projects,' PA- 1354.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Regional Agency Offices. For list of NRCS State offices with telephone numbers and addresses, see Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Headquarters Office

Kevin Farmer Department of Agriculture, Natural Resouces Conservation Service 1400 Independence Ave., SW , Washington, District of Columbia 20113 Email: Kevin.Farmer@wdc.usda.gov Phone: 202-720-3413

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

(1) The watershed must meet the requirements of the law; (2) an approved watershed plan has been prepared; (3) the local sponsors should indicate willingness to carry out a watershed project including acquiring land rights, permits, local cost-share, authority to levy taxes, condemnation authority, and ability for operating and maintaining works for life of project; (4) the project has environmental, economic and social benefits that exceed the costs for a favorable benefit-cost ratio; and (5) no critical environmental issues exist.

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