SWEEP Program Open for Applications through March 14

Grant applications for the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) are now being accepted through March 14, 2017. SWEEP provides financial assistance for farmers and ranchers to implement irrigation systems that save water and energy while reducing greenhouse gases on California agricultural operations.

This week, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) announced an additional 22 grant application assistance workshops for farmers interested in applying to the program. The workshops are being hosted mostly by local Resource Conservation Districts and Extension staff.

Workshops are being offered in the following counties:

  • Northern California: Butte, Trinity, Tehama
  • Central California: Fresno, Santa Cruz, Monterey, Santa Barbara, Ventura
  • Southern California: Imperial, San Diego

If you’re a farmer and interested in making water and energy efficiency improvements to your irrigation system, we strongly recommend you consider attending one of these workshops.

The SWEEP application is intensive. These workshops are intended to make the program application more accessible. We also recommend reaching out to your local conservation, agricultural, and irrigation professionals for advice.

SWEEP funds can be used for any combination of the following:

  • Weather-, soil-, or plant-based sensors for irrigation scheduling
  • Micro-irrigation or drip systems
  • Conversion of a diesel pumps to solar, wind, electric, or natural gas
  • Improved energy efficiency (e.g., retrofitting or replacing pumps)
  • Low pressure irrigation systems
  • Variable frequency drives to reduce energy use and match pump flow to load requirements
  • Reduced pumping (e.g., improved irrigation scheduling)
  • Other management practices that save water and reduce greenhouse gas emissions (e.g., soil management practices such as cover cropping and compost addition that increase water-holding capacity)

Read the list of projects funded last year.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much financial support can I get?

Up to $100,000 per project.

What if I don’t own my land?

That’s fine. You do not need to get approval from your landowner to apply. However, it’s generally a good idea to communicate with them about your project and make sure you’re in compliance with your lease agreement.

When’s the deadline?

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. PST.

How do I apply?

Follow this Step-by-Step Application Guide.

How can I learn more and get help with my application?

Check out CDFA’s FAQ sheet.

Edited from blogs dated February 1, 2017 and February 14, 2017.

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This article was submitted by Brian Shobe from the California Climate & Agriculture Network (CalCAN). CalCAN is a coalition that advances policy solutions at the nexus of climate change and sustainable agriculture.

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