The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California, in partnership with DOI's Bureau of Reclamation, is providing funds to improve the efficiency of agricultural water use in five locations throughout California. This partnership combines rural infrastructure upgrades with on-farm conservation enhancements. The deadline to submit an application for assistance is June 8.
"We are proud to partner with Reclamation to provide expanded technical and financial assistance to farmers to be better stewards of local water resources," said Ed Burton, NRCS California state conservationist, in a press release. "Water is a precious resource and California's farmers are committed to using each drop as efficiently as possible."
Farmers that are located within the Henry Miller Reclamation District 2131, Firebaugh Canal Water District, Tulare Irrigation District, Rancho California Water District and Central California Irrigation District are eligible for technical and financial assistance to install conservation practices to improve on-farm water efficiency.
In collaboration with NRCS, Reclamation selected the five project locations for funding totaling $2.3 million under its Agricultural Conservation and Efficiency Grants program. The selected projects will increase district-level efficiencies and facilitate farm water conservation and water use efficiency. NRCS will provide up to an additional $3 million in funding, and technical assistance to growers in the selected districts, for eligible on-farm conservation practices. (Adding $3 million from NRCS to Reclamation's $2.3 million in funding, a total of $5.3 million is being provided to enhance water conservation.)
NRCS and Reclamation launched this cooperative pilot program to fund on-farm water conservation and water use efficiency projects last year. Due to the success of the program, NRCS and Reclamation partnered once again to expand the benefits of the collaboration.
Read more about water saving devices.