$2.5 Million Available to Improve Agricultural Water Efficiency in California

Dan Industry News Release, USDA-NRCS, Water

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California, in partnership with DOI’s Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), is providing funds to improve the efficiency of agricultural water use in portions of six water/irrigation districts in California. This partnership combines on-farm conservation enhancements, through NRCS’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program, with water-supply infrastructure upgrades, funded through Reclamation’s agriculturalWaterSmart program. Funding decisions for these on-farm conservation improvements will be made on June 22 and July 27, 2018.

In 2018 NRCS is offering technical and financial irrigation assistance to agricultural producers in areas where recent infrastructure improvements, partnered by Reclamation WaterSmart, have made possible new on-farm water savings opportunities. These opportunities are occurring in portions of the following water and irrigation districts: 1) The Browns Valley Water District (Yuba County), 2) Buena Vista Storage District (Kern County), 3) Central California Irrigation District (Merced County), 4) Coachella Valley Water District (Riverside County), 5) Del Puerto Water District (Stanislaus County) and 6) North Kern Water Storage District (Kern County).

On-farm projects that address insufficient water, water quality degradation or inefficient energy use will be considered for financial assistance through NRCS’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Eligible conservation practices include, but are not limited to, cover crops, sediment basins, fencing, irrigation systems, livestock pipelines, and other practices that facilitate improvements to water management.

NRCS accepts EQIP applications year-round, but establishes cutoff dates to make funding selections for eligible, screened, and ranked applications. The cutoff date for this funding is July 27. To be ready for funding consideration, interested applicants will need to: (1) Develop a conservation plan, (2) Submit an application, (3) Meet program eligibility requirements, and (4) Approve the ‘EQIP schedule of operations.’

To find out more about this opportunity and to apply, please contact your local NRCS Service Center, which can be located at https://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=CA.

NRCS has provided leadership in a partnership effort to help America’s private land owners and managers conserve their soil, water and other natural resources since 1935.