NRCS Practice Standard: Water Well (642)

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NRCS Practice Standard: Water Well (642)

About the Company:

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s primary private lands conservation agency. The NRCS helps producers protect and conserve natural resources on private lands through voluntary conservation programs. Through Practice Standards and technical guides, the NRCS provides information about the conservation, energy resources, and provides personalized advice to individual producers.

The NRCS’ Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides technical and financial assistance to producers as they implement NRCS Conservation Practice Standards.

Technical guides used in each field office are localized so that they apply specifically to the geographic area for which they are prepared. Thus, while national guidelines have been provided as a framework for each standard, each state has adopted and modified the conservation practice standards to suit their individual landscape.

To find a local NRCS Service center click here.

To find the specific guideline for each state click here.

About the Solution:

Water Well (642)

A hole drilled, dug, driven, bored, jetted, or otherwise constructed into an aquifer for agricultural water supply.

Practice Information

This practice is used to provide: Adequate livestock water quality and quantity; Water for terrestrial wildlife; and/or Irrigation water.

This practice requires appropriate design and installation to function properly. If practicable, locate wells on higher ground and up-gradient from potential surface and subsurface contamination or pollution and areas subject to flooding. Evaluate the potential for adverse interference with existing nearby production wells during planning. Other concerns that should be considered in planning include the potential for groundwater overdraft; the long-term safe yield of the aquifer and potential effects of installation; operation of the well on cultural, historical, archaeological, or scientific resources at or near the site; and setback zones and prohibitions. Wells must be drilled and installed by a licensed water well driller, according to State and local laws.

Operation and maintenance of a water well includes recordkeeping of identified problems, corrective actions taken, date, and specific capacity (yield per unit drawdown) of the water well before and after corrective actions were taken. The owner must remedy unacceptable conditions in a timely manner.

Once a well has been installed, a distribution system, watering system, and/or irrigation system is usually needed.

Common Associated Practices

NRCS Conservation Practice Standard Water Well (Code 642) is commonly applied with other conservation practices such as:

  • Pumping Plant (Code 533)
  • Livestock Pipeline (Code 516)
  • Watering Facility (Code 614)
  • Irrigation Pipeline (Code 430)

  • To view the national NRCS standard Water Well please click here.

    Natural Resources Conservation Service, US Department of Agriculture 1400 Independence Ave., S.W. Washington, DC United States 1-833-ONE-USDA Visit Company Website

    Solution Type

    • General Support and Other


    • Others


    • Other

    To view additional information about this vendor, click below.

    Solution Strengths, Weaknesses and Critical Indicators

    NOTE: There are multiple technologies that are used as part of integrated manure management systems and yet are not manure management types on their own. The impact of these technologies on their own would be minimal or very difficult to quantify.

    General Support & Other:

    • Can be an integral part of many manure management systems
    • Most projects have at least some equipment that supports operations of the main technology
    • This technology is not evaluated on its own, the NEAT Matrix for this technology is neutral unless utilized with other technologies.

    Newtrient Comments/Opinions:

    Newtrient is using the USDA-NRCS conservation practice standards as tools to assist dairy producers in understanding the standards and how they can be used to address resources concerns.

    To establish a Practice Standard a system or practice must be thoroughly vetted, approved, and standardized by the USDA at the federal and state level. These conservation practices have been developed to address various environmental resource concerns. Newtrient has developed a 9-point scoring process for ranking additives, practices, services, and technologies for the dairy industry. Recognizing the rigorous approval procedure used during the development of the NRCS Practice Standards, many of them score very highly and are worthy of consideration on any dairy where they apply.

    The information provided here is a summary of the selected conservation practices. For up to date and detailed information related to the full Practice Standards, please see the USDA NRCS website, linked above.

    Newtrient 9-Point Scoring Rating

    View the Scoring Page

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