Funding Database: Agricultural Water Resources

Agricultural Water Resources Assistance Program (AgWRAP)

The Agricultural Water Resources Assistance Program (AgWRAP) provides funding to help protect water resources for crops and livestock. Private landowners and renters of an existing farm can receive a grant to increase water use efficiency, availability and storage. Proposals implement best management practices. One example project is the construction of a pond to use as a water supply for irrigation or livestock. Project benefits can include drought protection, reduced demand on the existing water supply, erosion control, flood control and sediment and nutrient reductions from farm fields. 

The NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NC DA&CS) administers AgWRAP funding on behalf of the 96 local Soil and Water Conservation Districts throughout the state.

Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants are private landowners or renters of an existing agricultural operation that has been operating for more than one year. Participants must make less than $250,000 annually or have more than 75% of their income supported through agricultural operations.

Eligible Projects

Projects eligible for AgWRAP funding include:

  • The construction or repair of a pond to use as a water supply for irrigation or livestock
  • The removal of sediment from an existing agricultural pond to increase water storage capacity
  • The construction of an agricultural water management or collection system (The system can be used for water reuse or irrigation for crops or livestock. These systems may include water storage tanks, pumps, water control structures or water conveyances.)
  • The improvement of streams or seeps alongside a stream or near the banks (Work cannot take place in the channel)
  • The modification of an existing overhead spray irrigation system to increase the efficiency and uniformity of water application
  • The construction of a new water storage for the purpose of watering livestock
  • The construction of a drilled, driven or dug well to supply water from an underground source for irrigation

Funding Amount

Typical funding amounts range from $15,000 to $30,000 depending on the type of project. The funder aims to distribute awards between western, central and eastern North Carolina.

Match Requirements

The funder reimburses applicants up to 75% of a project’s cost. The applicant is responsible for the remaining 25%. Awardees can meet this match with existing material and labor.

Application Schedule

Applicants apply through their local soil and water conservation district. Contact your local district office (see the link in the “Contact” section above) to learn about county-specific deadlines.

Local Soil and Water Conservation Districts must submit a package of local applications to the North Carolina Division of Soil and Water Conservation. The 2023 deadline for local district officers was in November. Awards are typically announced in March.

Application Process

Interested individuals should apply to their local Soil and Water Conservation District. The application process starts when a landowner or renter has an initial conversation with their district representative. (See the link in the “Contact” section above). Districts then rank projects and submit a regional application to the NC Division of Soil and Water Conservation. 

The Regional Applications Process page includes a step-by-step application process video, a flow chart and links to other application resources and documents.

Application Assistance

Contact your local soil and water conservation district representatives for support on this opportunity. See the link in the “Contact” section above.

Funding Source

The North Carolina General Assembly authorized AgWRAP funding through Session Law 2011-145 as a state appropriation.

Key Info
Funder NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Program Link The Agricultural Water Resources Assistance Program (AgWRAP)
Opportunity Type Funding > Grant
Opens Varies
Closes Varies
Award $15,000 - $30,000
Match Required? Yes
This Page was Last Updated March 1, 2024
Program Contact
Contact your local Soil and Water Conservation District with questions about this opportunity.
Completed Project Example
A Clay County farm installed a pond as a back-up water source for cattle during periods of drought. The pond also provides habitat for aquatic life and migratory birds. Learn more.