WASHINGTON — The National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) is pleased that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has launched the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) and looks forward to working with the department in ushering in a new era of collaborative conservation, according to a press release.

The RCPP makes municipal water and wastewater authorities eligible to play an increasingly significant role in helping agricultural producers achieve better water quality outcomes, reported the release.

The RCPP encourages partnerships between agricultural producers and municipal entities, like NACWA’s public clean water agency members, to help farmers manage nutrients and improve water quality on a regional scale more effectively, the release noted.

Almost $400 million will be available in the first full year to support this work, continued the release, and NRCS has indicated a strong interest in working with the clean water sector to help make the RCPP a success.

“Forty-two years after the passage of the Clean Water Act, we have reached a point where we must move upstream in our watersheds to realize further water quality improvements. The RCPP will foster progress by encouraging all sources and sectors of water pollution to work collaboratively, and I encourage our utility members to apply,” says Ken Kirk, executive director, NACWA.