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.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Natural Resources Conservation Service, Department of Agriculture
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants; C - Direct Payments For Specified Use; Z - Salaries and Expenses
Program Accomplishments
Not applicable.
Water Bank Act, Public Law 91-559, 16 U.S.C. 1301-1311
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Applicants must have land in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Landowners and operators of specified types of wetlands in designated important migratory waterfowl nesting, breeding and feeding areas. Program is offered in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.
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.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is not applicable.
Application Procedure
This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.
Award Procedure
New contracts were accepted in FY 2019. Current contracts remain in effect with payments being made until the expiration date.
Not applicable.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
The period officially specified for the program year.
Participants may appeal to the National Appeals Division.
Not applicable.
How are proposals selected?
Not applicable.
How may assistance be used?
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.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Not applicable.
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.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Annual payments will be made for 10 years. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: Lump.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
For more information on this and other related conservation programs, consult the local telephone directory where your land is located for the location of the nearest USDA service center. For a list of NRCS State offices with telephone numbers and addresses, information is available on the internet at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/.
Headquarters Office
Ronnie Maurer, Branch Chief, Programs Branch, Financial Assistance Programs Division
1400 Independence Avenue, SW; Room 4534-S
Washington, DC 20250 USA
Phone: (202) 819-6368
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Project Grants (Cooperative Agreements or Contracts)) FY 22$3,476,000.00; FY 23 est $4,536,000.00; FY 24 est $3,600,000.00; FY 21$3,499,000.00; FY 20$4,918,000.00; FY 19$3,245,000.00; FY 18$4,064,000.00; FY 17$4,369,000.00; FY 16$3,923,000.00; - (Salaries and Expenses) FY 22$353,000.00; FY 23 est $680,000.00; FY 24 est $489,000.00; FY 21$200,000.00; FY 20$106,000.00; FY 19$131,000.00; FY 18$192,000.00; FY 17$91,000.00; FY 16$205,000.00; -
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.
Examples of Funded Projects
Not applicable.


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