The City of Decatur is the recipient of a $9.8-million-dollar U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) grant focused on improving water quality in key areas across the Lake Decatur watershed. The 5-year program provides substantial cost-share and technical assistance to landowners and growers for certain practices aimed at reducing sediment and nutrient losses to the lake.
The City of Decatur wants to protect our recent $92-million-dollar dredging effort that reclaimed 30% of the lake’s volume and significantly improved the City’s drinking water supply. This effort removed 10,789,200 tons of sediment, equivalent to 60 Willis Towers in Chicago, Illinois.
Based on recent sediment monitoring and dredging costs, it is estimated that up to $1.2 million worth of sediment enters the lake annually. Periodic spikes in lake nitrogen concentrations also cost the City and rate payer $200,000 each year to treat. The RCPP aims to address these challenges.