Water Bank Program

The NRCS's Water Bank Program (WBP) funds landowners keep water on the land for the benefit of migratory wildlife such as waterfowl. Landowners and operators can sign new 10-year rental agreements to protect wetlands and provide wildlife habitat. Landowners receive annual payments for conserving and protecting wetlands and adjacent lands from adverse land uses and activities, such as drainage, that would destroy the wetland characteristics of those lands.

The purposes of WBP include:

  • Preserving and improving major wetlands as habitat for migratory waterfowl and other wildlife
  • Conserving surface waters
  • Reducing soil and wind erosion
  • Contributing to flood control
  • Improving water quality
  • Improving subsurface moisture
  • Enhancing the natural beauty of the landscape

Participant Eligibility

To be eligible to participate in the WBP, a person must:

Be the landowner of eligible land for which enrollment is sought for at least two years preceding the date of the agreement unless new ownership was acquired by will or succession as a result of death of the previous owner; or
 
Have possession of the land by written lease over all designated acreage in the agreement for at least two years preceding the date of the agreement unless new ownership was acquired by will or succession as a result of death  of the previous owner and will have possession over all the designated acreage for the agreement period.

Financial assistance will not be available for conservation practices through WBP. WBP participants who wish to establish or maintain conservation practices may apply for financial assistance through other NRCS or state financial assistance programs where available. NRCS will assist participants with developing a Conservation Plan of Operations (CPO) for the enrolled land and associated adjacent land when applicable.

Land enrolled in WBP may not be cropped. NRCS may authorize haying under limited circumstances, such as severe drought. NRCS may authorize grazing where necessary to enhance the wetland functions and values of the land under agreement.


Contact Water Bank Program

NRCS

National Service

 

Service Area

Statewide Program in:
  • Minnesota
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota