WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that the Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) will provide more than $3.5 million to a partnership led by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to improve irrigation water management and reduce energy use and nitrate runoff in Central Minnesota. This funding is part of the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), which Klobuchar helped create in the 2014 Farm Bill.

Consisting of more than 30 entities, the Irrigation Partnership to Protect Groundwater aims to improve irrigation water management on approximately 120 irrigation systems in Central Minnesota. The partnership will provide incentives to farmers and model conservation outcomes and economic impacts.

“I’m grateful to the NRCS for its support of Central Minnesota’s irrigation systems,” said Sen. Klobuchar. “By taking a tailored approach and tracking outcomes, the Irrigation Partnership to Protect Groundwater will improve water quality, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat, and help our state combat climate change.”

“This award will help Minnesota farmers and it will fight climate change to boot,” said Sen. Smith. “Improving water irrigation management will save farmers money on water and energy costs. Reducing nitrate leaching will improve water quality and safety. And all together, these conservation efforts will benefit our planet.”

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