The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has announced that another $16 million in State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) funding has been released for projects within California. The CDFA will be accepting applications immediately, and will continue receiving applications until Friday, January 8, 2016 at 5:00p.m. PST.
The funding will provide financial assistance to implement irrigation systems that reduce greenhouse gases and save water at California agricultural operations. The funding is made available through the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, from proceeds of California’s Cap‐and‐Trade program.
Applicants may apply for funding of up to $200,000 per project.
The announcement comes after a number of legislative developments, both at the state and federal level, over the course of the last 12 months, including the introduction of the California Emergency Drought Relief Act by Senators Feinstein and Boxer in late July. Toro has been very engaged throughout the process, with active involvement in a number of meetings that have led to this point (read more about this here, here and here).
Previous SWEEP funding made available in California includes $10 million in emergency drought relief in March 2014, and an additional $10 million in March 2015. Both rounds of funding focused primarily on implementing new technologies.
SWEEP has already funded more than 230 projects throughout the state of California, implementing a number of different types of technologies aimed at improving irrigation efficiency:
- Soil moisture monitoring systems
- Micro-irrigation-drip systems
- Energy efficient pumps
- Use of ET data and scheduling
- Use of variable frequency drive (VFD) pumps
- Use of low pressure irrigation systems
Applicants will have to demonstrate water/resource savings twice: once with application submission, and again after project implementation (with the help of a CDFA auditor who verifies records).
Detailed information on eligibility and program requirements, as well as instructions on how to apply, is available at www.cdfa.ca.gov/go/SWEEP.
CDFA will hold four application workshops free of charge, and one webinar to provide information on program requirements and the FAAST application process. More information about the time, date and location of these workshops is available here.