Hoeven: Agriculture Appropriations Bill Renews Water Bank, Water Conservation Programs

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today announced that the Senate Appropriations Committee has approved the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Agriculture Appropriations Bill. The annual funding bill renews the Water Bank Program and other provisions that help North Dakota with flood protection, water conservation and water quality.

“We worked hard on the committee this year to again include strong water management and flood protection measures like the Water Bank program and Acre-for-Acre mitigation,” Hoeven said. “These programs have proven to be a valuable aid to many North Dakota farmers, particularly those in the Devils Lake Basin and Stump Lake Basin regions who have experienced regular flooding.”

  • Water Bank – Provides $4 million for the Water Bank, a program to compensate farmers and landowners for flooded land through 10-year voluntary conservation agreements, which is especially helpful for Devils Lake producers.
  • Grassroots Source Water Protection Program – Increases funding to $6 million for the program, which works through rural water associations to ensure the quality of surface and ground water used as the primary sources of drinking water for rural residents.
  • Acre for Acre – Encourages the USDA to use a one-to-one ratio for mitigation of a natural wetland and equivalent wetland to ensure a fair exchange for producers.
  • Circuit Rider Program – Increases funding to $16.5 million. This program funds technical experts employed by State Rural Water Associations to provide training and assistance to rural and small water utilities.