USDA details efforts to protect country's water from harmful runoff
USDA investments over the last six years have improved water quality for 14.5 million people in rural communities while boosting income with the creation of 150,000 jobs.
Through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program, the USDA provided $370 million in funding toward water quality projects across the country and in Puerto Rico.
USDA efforts also have benefited soil erosion and wildlife habitat losses, with the Conservation Reserve Program preventing 8 billion tons of soil loss since its creation in 1985. The department also has worked to restore and manage watersheds despite funding cuts due to the diversions to fighting wildfires.
The department's efforts to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus runoff also have been successful. In the last six years, private working lands conservation programs have seen nitrogen runoff reduced by more than 3.5 billion pounds and phosphorus runoff by more than 700 million pounds.