ASDWA and GWPC Fact Sheet on State Source Water Protection Agriculture and Forestry Coordination Progress

ASDWA and the Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC) have published a new fact sheet entitled, “State Source Water Protection (SWP) Programs: Agriculture and Forestry Coordination Progress Update.” This four-page fact sheet is primarily intended for ASDWA and GWPC members and their state SWP programs and state SWP coordinators, as well as their key partners. The information and state examples in the fact sheet are based on the responses of 41 state SWP programs to a survey that ASDWA and GWPC conducted in the fall of 2022. The purpose is to provide an update to the September 2021 Report and Fact Sheet that shared information about the accomplishments of state SWP program efforts since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. The fact sheet shares continued progress on key state SWP program partnering activities with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and work with state foresters and the US Forest Service (USFS) and NRCS on forestry management.

The fact sheet also highlights the decline in the number of states coordinating with NRCS in 2022 from 2021 and provides suggested solutions to enhance coordination efforts on the selection of priority SWP areas and water quality outcomes from the implementation of conservation practices. To make further progress, all State NRCS offices should:

  • Develop State NRCS SWP Priority Areas and Maps and Engage Partners in the Process to identify and refine SWP priority areas. Post the maps on state NRCS websites and share them with SWP stakeholders.
  • Develop a Measurement Mechanism to identify conservation dollars spent in individual SWP priority areas in each state as a measure of success, while preserving landowner privacy. This can help identify barriers and opportunities to achieve water quality improvement.
  • Develop Outreach Materials to engage partners and interested producers to increase projects in SWP priority areas.
  • Continue or establish State SWP Subcommittees to ensure continued and enhanced coordination to identify state SWP priority areas and promote implementation of conservation practices. This would help hard-wire the approach, considering all the NRCS state staff turnover and vacancies.

For more information, view the fact sheet, and visit ASDWA’s source water protection web page.