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.

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; K - Advisory Services and Counseling; Z - Salaries and Expenses
Program Accomplishments
Not applicable.
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.
Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act, Public Law 83-566, Statute 68,666
The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, Public Law 115-334
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
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.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is required. An environmental impact statement is required for this listing. An environmental impact assessment is required for this listing. 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 Procedure
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 Procedure
Details of the procedure are available from the State and field offices of the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Not applicable.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Receipt of the application is acknowledged as soon as it is determined to be valid.
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
How are proposals selected?
(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.
How may assistance be used?
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.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Performance Reports: Annual operation and maintenance inspection and report.
Not applicable.
Records of operation and maintenance activities are maintained for the life of the project.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching is voluntary. 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 assistance listing.
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.
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
Kevin Farmer, Branch Chief, Watershed Programs Branch
1400 Independence Ave, SW
Washington, DC 20250 USA
Phone: (202) 720-3413
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Salaries and Expenses) FY 18$26,493,000.00; FY 19 est $72,737,000.00; FY 20 est $0.00; FY 17$13,524,000.00; FY 16$10,606,000.00; - (Project Grants (Cooperative Agreements)) FY 18$106,480,000.00; FY 19 est $201,201,000.00; FY 20 est $0.00; FY 17$52,115,000.00; FY 16$24,000.00; -
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.
Examples of Funded Projects
Not applicable.