Funds Available for Water, Energy Efficiency

The state of California recently opened a second round of funding to help farms reduce water usage and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Funds for the program, the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP), were included in emergency drought legislation passed earlier this year.

The maximum grant award is $150,000 and can be used to fund pump improvements such as converting from fossil fuel powered engines to solar, wind, or electric power. The funds may also be used to replace flood or furrow irrigation systems with drip or micro-irrigation; and other ways to improve efficiency of water distribution and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

SWEEP applicants must document how they will increase irrigation efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, actual on-farm water and energy usage must be documented in the application. Only California agricultural operations are eligible to apply.

Growers are encouraged to contact their local Resource Conservation District or Natural Resources Conservation District office for support in developing a proposal. Applications are due November 10, 2014, by 5 pm PST.