The recipients of a joint water efficiency grant were announced recently by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and the Department of Water Resources (DWR). A total of $4.6 million will be distributed to the North San Joaquin Water Conservation District, along with 19 farming operations who submitted applications for funding.
“This grant is a smart investment in improving our water-use efficiency and managing our groundwater basins for future droughts. Our thanks to the Department of Water Resources for joining us in this critically important program,” CDFA Secretary Karen Ross stated in a press release.
Award recipients submitted applications that met the specific requirements of the grant, including feasibility, cost, greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions and water savings. The improvements made to water delivery systems will assist in bringing surface water to farming operations that rely completely on groundwater for irrigation, easing demands on local water basins that have been over drafted.
A portion of the funding for the grant comes from the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program offered through CDFA that offers financial assistance for water conservation and the reduction of GHG emissions on farming operations. Other funding comes from money generated by Proposition 1 that was approved in 2014.
Award amounts ranged from $43,000 to just under $200,000 for a variety of water conservation technologies and efficiency enhancement methods. The grant program is a pilot project and is anticipated to result in more than 553 million gallons of water savings and GHG reductions equivalent to 97 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year.
A list of the selected agricultural operations can be found here.