SWEEP is funded through California’s Cap-and-Trade auction proceeds
The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has selected 167 projects, totaling $22 million, to receive grants from the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP).
“This investment continues California’s ongoing innovation in agricultural water use efficiency,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “Farmers involved in this program are making positive on-farm changes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, grow food with the most efficient use of water and help address our changing climate.”
The 2016 SWEEP funding arises from Budget Act of 2015, SB 101, (Chapter 321, Statues of 2015), which authorizes CDFA to “support greenhouse gas emission reductions through water and energy efficiency grants promoting water and energy savings.” SWEEP is part of “California Climate Investments” funded with Cap and Trade funds. The program’s objective is to provide financial incentives for California agricultural operations to invest in irrigation systems and practices that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and save water. Information on other California Climate Investments supported through Cap-and-Trade funds is available at: www.arb.ca.gov/cc/capandtrade/auctionproceeds/auctionproceeds.htm
The selected SWEEP projects will leverage an additional $11.2 million in estimated matching funds, provided by the award recipients. The funding will support a wide variety of projects including the installation of drip and micro-sprinkler systems, energy-efficient water pumps and renewable energy, and soil moisture sensors and irrigation scheduling programs that can assist farmers in applying water based on crop needs. SWEEP projects will result in both on-farm GHG emission reductions and water savings. Applications undergo a quantitative scientific and technical review for greenhouse gas reductions and water savings by academic experts with the University of California and California State University systems.
SWEEP is administered by CDFA’s Office of Environmental Farming and Innovation and the Office of Grants Administration. Authority for such incentive programs comes through the Environmental Farming Act of 1995. The Act mandates that the Department establish and oversee an Environmental Farming Program to provide incentives to farmers whose practices promote the well-being of ecosystems and air quality.
Since SWEEP was initiated in 2014, 360 grants have been provided to California agricultural operations. More information on the SWEEP program and a list of current grant awardees can be found by visiting www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/sweep.