Deadline Extended! Funds Available to Improve Irrigation and Energy Efficiency

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) recently extended the application deadline for the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) to July 29, 2014.

Under SWEEP, the state of California will disburse up to $10 million to agricultural operations investing in irrigation and water distribution installations that reduce water usage and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The application is web-based. Please view the Application Guidelines and register for a Financial Assistance Application Submittal Tool (FASST) account.

For technical assistance contact your local Resource Conservation District or Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) office. Local utilities may also provide application information.

Applications are ranked based upon the following criteria:

  • Water savings
  • GHG reductions
  • Location in D3 or D4 drought designated area as of April 29, 2014
  • Use of soil moisture sensors with electronic data output and flow meters to ensure efficient irrigation scheduling
  • Use of evapotranspiration-based irrigation scheduling
  • Reduction of GHGs from water pumping—such as converting a gas-powered pump to solar, wind, or electric
  • Replacing flood or furrow irrigation with micro-irrigation or drip systems
  • Use of low pressure irrigation systems to reduce pump energy use
  • Use of Variable Frequency Drives to reduce energy use and match pump flow to load requirements

The highest ranking projects will address multiple criteria. And some programs may receive extra credits for documenting environmental or social co-benefits such as improved air quality and reduced nitrate leaching. Additionally, SWEEP encourages projects that contribute to “disadvantaged communities.”

SWEEP funding is an excellent opportunity for CCOF members to increase their water and energy efficiency.

For full details, visit the SWEEP website. Applications must be submitted electronically using FAAST by July 29, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. PST.