Water Conservation Programs

Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program

The 2015 Legislature has approved the Upper Arkansas River Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) for another year. Local county Farm Service Agency offices in the project area may continue to accept offers until further notice. A new 28,950 acre goal limit has recently been approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Additional irrigated rental rate increases of $35 - $40 per acre have also been approved by USDA, effective August 28, 2014.  A total of 17,176 acres are currently under enrollment.

So far, the interest in this new voluntary project has been especially strong in the sandy soil areas south of the Arkansas River in the westernmost counties. This incentive-based conservation project is designed to reduce the use of irrigation water and reduce non-point pollution in the Upper Arkansas River corridor. CREP is a partnership between the USDA and the State of Kansas.

Landowner Tom White visits with KDA's Gene McFall about drought impacts on his CREP grass stands

Landowner Tom White visits with KDA's Gene McFall about drought impacts on his CREP grass stands while Rick Rogers from NRCS and Mark Goudy from FSA share insights regarding strategies for meeting the challenging conditions in SW Kansas.

CREP Project Area

Water Transition Assistance Program


Water Right Transition Assistance Program Benefits Landowners and Water Resources

The Division of Conservation (DOC), Kansas Department of Agriculture will accept applications under the Water Right Transition Assistance Program (WTAP) during the fall 2016 enrollment period. The fall enrollment period begins October 1, 2016 and ends November 15, 2016.

WTAP is a voluntary, incentive-based program that permanently retires privately held irrigation water rights in exchange for payment by the State of Kansas. It is intended to help restore aquifers and recover stream flows in critically depleted target areas. The 2012 Kansas Legislature extended WTAP until June 30, 2022 based on past results of the recent pilot project.

The target areas currently designated include Rattlesnake Creek Sub-basin, Prairie Dog Creek Basin, and six “High Priority Areas” of Northwest Kansas Groundwater Management District No. 4.

WTAP bids cannot exceed $2,000 per acre-foot of the Historic Consumptive Water Use as calculated over the last ten years of actual annual water use of the water right(s) proposed for acceptance. Applications to accept partial water rights can also be considered. The award of WTAP grants for water right retirements is based on a competitive bidding process.

Applications which propose a financial contribution from a local entity may increase the priority of an application.


Water Right Transition Assistance Program Enrollment

The fall application period runs October 1 - November 15 annually. If sufficient funds are available after the fall enrollment, there may be a spring application period, February 15 - March 31.

WTAP Target Area Maps

WTAP VII - Rattlesnake Creek - Priority Areas - 2015

WTAP VII - Prairie Dog Creek - Priority Areas - 2015

WTAP VII - NW KS GMD 4 - HPA Areas - 2015

WTAP Annual Report

WTAP Forms

Statutes and Regulations