The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has extended its deadline for applications for the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) by two weeks, until July 29, 2014.
An estimated $10 million in competitive grant funding, authorized by emergency drought legislation (Senate Bill 103), will be awarded to provide financial assistance to agricultural operations for implementation of water conservation measures that result in increased water efficiency and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
Applications must be submitted electronically using FAAST by Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. PST.
Applicants must access the Application Guidelines for detailed information and program requirements. To streamline and expedite the application process, CDFA is partnering with the State Water Resources Control Board, which hosts an online application using the Financial Assistance Application Submittal Tool (FAAST).
All applicants must register for a FAAST account at https://faast.waterboards.ca.gov.
Prospective applicants may contact CDFA’s Grants Office at email@example.com with general program questions.
Governor Brown has called on all Californians to reduce their water use by 20 percent and prevent water waste – visit SaveOurH2O.org to find out how everyone can do their part, and visit Drought.CA.Gov to learn more about how California is dealing with the effects of the drought.
CDFA continues to accept applications for the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program, or SWEEP. The deadline to apply is July 15, 2014.
The program is designed to provide financial assistance to agricultural operations for the implementation of water conservation measures that increase water efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Approximately $10 million has been made available for SWEEP through emergency drought legislation (Senate Bill 103).
Although CDFA is leading this effort, the development, implementation and success of this program is dependent on collaborative efforts across state and federal agencies and with multiple partners.
CDFA is working closely with the State Water Board and Department of Water Resources on several aspects of the program, including program design and the collection of applications through the State Water Board’s electronic application program, the Financial Assistance Application Submittal Tool (FAAST).
The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) and the CDFA Environmental Farming Act Science Advisory Panel have been valuable assets by providing guidance and feedback on many aspects of program design.
SWEEP requires a high level of technical expertise to review the applications. Irrigation experts from the Cal Poly Irrigation Training and Research Center, the Center for Irrigation Technology at Fresno State and the University of California’s Cooperative Extension are partnering with CDFA to provide application technical review and recommendations for funding.
Verifying that projects are implemented at the farm level is a critical part of SWEEP. CDFA is partnering with the California Association of Resource Conservation Districts, which regularly works with farmers and has conservation practice experience on irrigation systems, to verify the projects.
SWEEP was implemented under the 1995 Environmental Farming Act, which recognizes that many farmers engage in practices that contribute to the well-being of ecosystems, air quality and wildlife, and states that CDFA shall provide incentives for those practices.