The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) announced that 125 agricultural operations were selected for 2019 State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) grant awards, totaling $9.7 million. The grants can be used to improve crop irrigation systems that result in water savings and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. SWEEP is a competitive grant program initiated in 2014 in response to California’s historic five-year drought. The program offers funding to improve water and energy efficiencies on farms and ranches, increasing agriculture’s resiliency to drought and climate change impacts. “Water remains a top concern for Californians, and we are proud to continue investing in water use efficiency in agriculture,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “Farmers involved in this program are making positive on-farm changes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, grow food with more efficient watering systems and help address our changing climate.”
There were 366 agricultural operations that applied for funding through the 2019 SWEEP solicitation process. The selected projects are estimated to save 74,900 acre-feet of water and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 32,800 metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent over 10 years, the equivalent of removing more than 7,000 vehicles from our roads. Additionally, the awardees will contribute $4.9 million in matching funds, furthering the positive impacts of the program. For the full list of grant recipients, click here.