The deadline to sign up for an Agricultural Water Enhancement Program (AWEP) project in Arkansas has been extended to June 11. Additional counties have also been added to the project boundary.

The project, managed by Natural Resources Conservation Service and the White River Irrigation District, allows producers to install fuel and water monitoring equipment on an estimated 300 wells or re-lifts. In addition to all or portions of Arkansas, Clay, Craighead, Cross, Greene, Jefferson, Lee, Lonoke, Monroe, Poinsett, Prairie, Pulaski and St. Francis counties; the boundary has been expanded to include all or portions of Conway, Crittenden, Faulkner, Jackson, Mississippi, Monroe, Perry, Pope, Van Buren, Woodruff and Yell counties.

"We have $640,000 available for this project and the extended deadline will give more landowners a chance to participate," NRCS State Conservationist Mike Sullivan announced. "By monitoring the fuel and water systems on these farms, we hope to improve water conservation and water quality on agricultural working lands in portions of Arkansas."

"We will install devices on wells and re-lifts to measure the fuel usage, the water pumped, and the engine status. The information can be used to fine tune the pumping and reduce pumping costs by 10 percent or more in most cases," said Dennis Carman, chief engineer and director for the White River Irrigation District.

Interested individuals should contact their local USDA NRCS office or call the White River Irrigation District office (870)255-2202 located in Hazen, Ark. A map of the area is available at http://www.ar.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/awep_2010_Funding.html.