The purpose of this program is to provide watering facilities for livestock to reduce or eliminate the need for livestock to access streams, which reduces erosion and livestock waste reaching the stream. To supply water, the tax credit is authorized for:
- Construction or deepening of wells if it is the only technically feasible alternative for a water source
- Development of springs or seeps, including fencing of the area where needed, to protect the development from pollution by livestock
- Construction or repair of dugouts, dams, pits, or ponds (if the only technically feasible alternative for water source), including fencing of the area where needed, to protect the development from pollution by livestock
- Installing pipelines, storage facilities, cisterns, troughs and artificial watersheds
- A water supply system can be a portable system to meet the management requirements necessary for systems operation rather than a large number of permanent water facilities
- Fencing to exclude livestock from a stream or waterway is eligible for a tax credit as a stand-alone component or in combination with an alternative water system of this best management practice, no minimum setback distance is required, however the fence must be maintained for the life of the practice.
Wells must be provided with pumping equipment (except for artesian wells) and adequate facilities. The tax credit is authorized in connection with wells for pipe installed in the well (including the casing), pumps, pumping equipment, and well houses. The tax credit is not authorized for wells that do not produce water. No tax credit is authorized under the practice for any installation that is:
- Primarily for recreation, wildlife, dry lot feeding, barn lots or barns)
- To make it possible to graze crop residues, field borders, or temporary or supplemental pasture crops, or
- For the purpose of providing water for the farm or ranch headquarters. Wells constructed under this practice must meet appropriate state and local ordinances and permit requirements for wells supplying water to livestock as a minimum.
A portable water supply system is any system or component (i.e., trough, pipe, etc.) that is:
- Commercially available or farmer constructed
- Large enough to provide a timely and sufficient volume of water for the livestock to be contained in a specific area for which the system is designed
- Capable of being maintained in a stable position and protected from any damage while the system or component is in use, and
- Capable of being moved in a timely manner from one location to another within the acreage for which the system is designed.
All individuals and business entities operating agricultural land within the boundaries of the Commonwealth of Virginia are eligible to participate in the Virginia Agricultural Best Management Practices Cost-Share Program. Applicants shall self certify that they meet the above criteria. Soil & Water Conservation Districts may request that applicants provide proof of agricultural production. To be considered an agricultural producer there must be an annual minimum of $1,000 of agricultural products being produced, sold or both from the applicant's agricultural land (non-industrial private forest lands are exempt from the $1,000 requirement).
State tax credit on this practice is limited to pastureland that borders a live stream or Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act Resource Protection Area as defined by local ordinance.
Maintained for a minimum of 10 years following the calendar year of installation.
The tax credit is available for this program. The tax credit rate is 25% of the total eligible cost not to exceed $17,500.00. If a cooperator receives cost-share, only the percent of the total cost of the project that the cooperator contributed is used to determine the tax credit.
Sign-up for this practice is continuous.
Find out more about Virginia's Soil and Water Conservation Districts
Virginia farmers, such as the one profiled here, have already benefited from instituting alternative watering techniques.