LandFlex Program Awards $16 Million in Grower Contracts, Providing Immediate Well Protection for 34,000 Homes
Courtesy of Western United Dairies
Today, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced the successful conclusion of LandFlex Phase 2, providing $16,775,162 in grants to support grower contracts within various Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) for the protection of rural at-risk water systems and advancements in groundwater sustainability.
The awarded funds will be allocated to three GSAs as follows:
- Lower Tule Irrigation District GSA: Grant award in the amount of $7.7 million
- Pixley Irrigation District GSA: Grant award in the amount of $ 5 million
- Westlands Water District GSA: Grant award in the amount of $4 million
“At the heart of LandFlex’s success is its proven effectiveness in addressing critical water resource challenges,” said Anja Raudabaugh, Chief Executive Officer of Western United Dairies. “Initially designed to combat drought conditions, the program has demonstrated remarkable versatility by also proving its mettle in flood protection and identifying active recharge potential. This adaptability has positioned LandFlex as an innovative and indispensable tool for growers to meet sustainability goals in both dry and wet periods.”
One of the program’s key achievements is the immediate protection it provides to drinking water wells serving 34,259 households in underserved communities. By swiftly reducing water demand, LandFlex alleviates pressure on these communities and overburdened water systems while simultaneously supporting the sustainability of both the communities and the agricultural industry.
Moreover, LandFlex plays a pivotal role in accelerating compliance with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). Growers who participate in the program can plan ahead and explore innovative farming methods that align with long-term sustainability goals, ensuring the resilience of water systems and critical water infrastructure.
“LandFlex owes its success to the voluntary participation of growers who are committed to supporting their communities and farming for the future,” said Aubrey Bettencourt, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Almond Alliance. “The program was oversubscribed, and their active involvement showcases their determination to find immediate solutions rather than waiting until 2040 to achieve sustainability goals. By participating in LandFlex, these growers contribute significantly to the well-being of underserved communities and the long-term resilience of at-risk water systems while investing in new farming practices to ensure California agriculture is leading and vibrant for the 21st century.”
The LandFlex program stands as a testament to the power of collaboration between growers, government entities, and local communities. By focusing on the protection of water resources and underserved communities, LandFlex exemplifies the importance of finding innovative, practical, and actionable solutions to address pressing water challenges.
For more information about LandFlex, please visit landflex.org.