Increases in crop prices have reduced the acreage of land in conservation set-aside programs such as the Conservation Reserve Program and other marginal land use. Significant conversion of grasslands to cultivated agricultural crops has increased the levels of runoff and sedimentation. Phase III of this project addresses the need to protect vulnerable sites by installing water and sediment basins. These basins are earthen embankments built to temporarily detain sediment-laden runoff, allowing sediment to settle out before runoff is discharged.
As part of the FY 2012 funding cycle, the Board of Water and Soil Resources granted funds for development of the Water Quality Decision Support Application (WQDSA). The WQDSA will provide land and water managers with geospatial data and online tools to prioritize, market, and implement actions on the landscape to achieve water quality objectives identified in local and state water plans and to ensure that public funding decisions are strategic and defensible.