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Soil & Water Conservation

Water is a precious resource that we rely on for practically all aspects of life.  Although water on Earth may seem abundant because of the oceans, the fraction available for everyday use is miniscule.  Therefore, it is important to use only the amount that is necessary so that we can keep enjoying clean water.  To help you do this, we have compiled information on water conservation techniques and information that you can learn about.

Conservation Programs for Landowners

  • ANRC Tax Credit Programs – “Available under the Water Resource Conservation and Development Incentives Act, available tax credits include impoundments, conversion, and leveling.”
  • Illinois River Sub-Basin and Eucha-Spavinaw Lake Watershed Initiative – “The purpose of the project is to improve water quality of the Illinois River Sub-Basin and Eucha-Spavinaw Lake Watershed (which include Lake Tenkiller, Lake Eucha and Lake Spavinaw in Oklahoma) while maintaining the food and fiber production in the area.”
  • Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watershed Initiative (MRBI) – “NRCS and its partners will help producers in selected watersheds in the Mississippi River Basin voluntarily implement conservation practices and systems that avoid, control, and trap nutrient runoff; improve wildlife habitat; and maintain agricultural productivity.”
  • NRCS Agricultural Water Enhancement Program – This program is “a voluntary conservation initiative that provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers to implement agricultural water enhancement activities on agricultural land for the purposes of conserving surface and ground water and improving water quality.”
  • NRCS Conservation Stewardship Program – Offered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), “CSP encourages land stewards to improve their conservation performance by installing and adopting additional activities, and improving, maintaining, and managing existing activities on agricultural land and nonindustrial private forest land.”
  • NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program – “EQIP priorities in Arkansas are to reduce erosion; reduce pollution from animal wastes, nutrients and sediments; improve irrigation and reduce dependence on ground water for irrigation; forest improvements; improve grazing lands; and improve wildlife habitat.”
  • NRCS Wetlands Reserve Program – The focus of this program is “to restore bottomland hardwood forest ecosystems and improve water quality in the Lower Mississippi River Valley, the Arkansas River Valley and the Red River Valley, through reforestation and hydrology restoration.”
  • NRCS Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program – “The program addresses wildlife habitat in riparian areas, wetlands, uplands and cave ecosystems; and elk and quail habitat. Each area will have specific conservation practices eligible for cost-sharing that benefit certain wildlife species.”


  • Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts – “The purpose and mission of The Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts is to assist the conservation districts of the state of Arkansas in their efforts to serve the soil and water conservation needs of the people of Arkansas.”
    —What are conservation districts?
    —“Conservation districts are local units of government responsible for the soil and water conservation work within their boundaries. The districts’ role is to increase voluntary conservation practices among farmers, ranchers and other land users” (courtesy NRCS).
  • Arkansas Natural Resources Commission – “The commission establishes policy that makes funding and regulatory decisions relative to soil conservation, nutrient management, water rights, dam safety and water resources planning and development.”
  • NRCS Electronic Field Office Technical Guide (eFOTG)– “Technical guides are the primary scientific references for NRCS. They contain technical information about the conservation of soil, water, air, and related plant and animal resources.”
    Navigate to the State Conservation Practice Standards by clicking on Arkansas and your county. Here you will find an explanation of what is located in each Section. On the left, select the drop down arrow where it says Section and select Section IV. Then, click on the folder labeled Conservation Practices.
  • National Conservation Practice Standards – “The conservation practice standard contains information on why and where the practice is applied, and it sets forth the minimum quality criteria that must be met during the application of that practice in order for it to achieve its intended purpose(s).”

Conservation Corner Newsletters – The newsletter of the Mississippi River Basin Initiative that showcases conservation practices, MRBI program details, and additional conservation programs available in Arkansas.