Water Bank Program

To preserve and improve major wetlands as habitat for migratory waterfowl and other wildlife, conserve surface waters, reduce soil and wind erosion, contribute to flood control, improve water quality, improve subsurface moisture, and enhance the natural beauty of the landscape.

Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Office: Natural Resources Conservation Service
Types of Assistance
Direct Payments for Specified Use (Cooperative Agreements)
Uses and Use Restrictions
Agreements are for 10 years with eligible landowners to help preserve important nesting, breeding, and feeding areas of migratory waterfowl. During the agreement, the participants agree in return for annual payments not to drain, burn, fill, or otherwise destroy the wetland character of such areas and not to use areas for agricultural purposes, as determined by the Secretary. The Secretary carries out the program in harmony with wetlands programs administered by the Secretary of the Interior and uses technical and related services of appropriate State, Federal, and private conservation agencies to assure proper coordination. . * FY 2014, 2015 & 2016 - 100% discretionary funding.
Water Bank Act, Public Law 91-559.
Eligibility Requirements
Applicant Eligibility
Beneficiary Eligibility
Landowners and operators of specified types of wetlands in designated important migratory waterfowl nesting, breeding and feeding areas.
Identification as an owner and/or operator of eligible land; a conservation plan developed in cooperation with the local soil and water conservation district; and proof of required compliance. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.
Application and Award Process
Preapplication Coordination
Preapplication coordination is not applicable. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Application Procedure
This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. New contracts are not being accepted. Current contracts remain in effect with payments being made until the expiration date.
Award Procedure
New contracts were accepted in FY 2015.
Current contracts remain in effect with payments being made until the expiration date.
Not Applicable.
Range of Approval/Disapproval Time
The period officially specified for the program year.
Participants may appeal to the National Appeals Division.
Not Applicable.
Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program.
Matching requirements are not applicable to this program.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Annual payments will be made for 10 years. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: lump sum.
Post Assistance Requirements
Not Applicable.
This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements. Recipients are subject to audit by Office of Inspector General, USDA.
Maintained in the NRCS office and Federal record centers for a specified number of years.
Program Accomplishments
Not Applicable.
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Salaries) FY 14 $164,000; FY 15 est $685,000; and FY 16 est $0. (Project Grants (Cooperative Agreements or Contracts)) FY 14 $4,166,000; FY 15 est $3,860,000; and FY 16 est $0
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
$20 to $50 per acre. Average: $35.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Program regulations published in the Federal Register, 7 CFR Part 752.
Program is announced through the news media to eligible participants in the States designated by the Secretary of Agriculture as a participating State.
Information Contacts
Regional or Local Office
See Regional Agency Offices. For more information on this and other related programs, consult the local telephone directory for location of the NRCS office where your land is located. If a listing is not present; contact the appropriate State NRCS office listed in the Natural Resources Conservation Service section of Appendix IV of the Catalog.
Headquarters Office
Dave Mason 1400 Independence Ave, SW
South Building, Room 5235, Washington, District of Columbia 20013 Email: Dave.Mason@wdc.usda.gov Phone: (202) 260-9232
Website Address
Examples of Funded Projects
Not Applicable.
Criteria for Selecting Proposals
Not Applicable.
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