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Grants to California Farmers and Tribes to Implement
Environmentally Friendly Irrigation Systems

State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP)

Agency Type:

State

Funding Source:

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California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA)

Conf. Date:

11/15/21

Deadline Date:

01/18/22 5:00 PM PT

Description:

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Grants to California farmers, ranchers, and recognized Native American Indian Tribes for the implementation of agricultural irrigation systems that save water and reduce greenhouse gases. Eligible projects include drip systems, soil moisture monitoring, pump retrofits, variable frequency drives, switching to low-pressure irrigation systems, and the installation of renewable energy to reduce on-farm water use and energy.

CDFA has identified the following strategies that address water conservation and GHG emission reductions. Applicants should consider incorporating several strategies listed below to achieve both water conservation and GHG emission reductions. 

Water Savings

1. Weather, Soil, or Plant Based Sensors for Irrigation Scheduling

  • Examples include the use of soil moisture or plant sensors (NRCS Conservation Practice Standard (CPS) 449 may apply) with electronic data output, the use of weather station(s) linked to an irrigation controller to ensure efficient irrigation scheduling or the use of evapotranspiration (ET) based irrigation scheduling, such as the California Irrigation Management Information System (CIMIS) to optimize water use efficiency for crops.
  • Telemetry components that allow the electronic communication between technology devices are eligible for funding through SWEEP.
  • For use of ET based irrigation scheduling, provide sufficient documentation to show that water deliveries can be made on a consistent basis to accommodate that scheduling.

2. Irrigation System Changes

  • Examples include the conversion to a more water efficient irrigation method or improvement of existing method to conserve water.
  • Project designs should follow NRCS CPS 441, 442, 443 specifications.
  • The applicants currently utilizing surface water (e.g. canal or river water) to flood irrigate crops are encouraged to maintain flood irrigation infrastructure along with the proposed efficient micro/ drip irrigation system(s) to facilitate groundwater recharge when surface water is available for recharge. 

Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions

1. Fuel Conversion

  • Examples include pump fuel conversion resulting in reduction of GHG emissions such as replacing a diesel pump with an electric pump and/or the installation of renewable energy.
  • Renewable energy that is used to power irrigation systems are eligible for SWEEP funding and can further reduce GHG emissions.

2. Improved Energy Efficiency of Pumps and the Addition of Variable Frequency Drives

  • Examples include retrofitting or replacing pumps or the addition of variable frequency drives to reduce energy use and match pump flow to load requirements.
  • NRCS CPS 372 or 533 may apply.

3. Low Pressure Systems

  • For example, the conversion of a high-pressure sprinkler system to a low-pressure micro-irrigation system or lower pressure sprinkler system to reduce pumping and energy use.
  • Project designs should follow NRCS CPS 441 or 442 specifications.

4. Reduced Pumping through Water Savings Strategies

  • For example, improved irrigation scheduling may lead to reduced pump operation times. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 148507

Estimated Total Program Funding:

$37,800,000

Estimated Size of Grant:

The maximum grant award is $200,000.

Term of Contract:

Awarded project must be complete and operational no later than 24 months after the start of the grant agreement. The anticipated start date is June 30, 2022.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligibility and Exclusions:
- California farmers, ranchers and Federal and California Recognized Native American Indian Tribes are eligible to apply. The farm location and the business mailing address must be in California.
-The irrigation project must be on a California agricultural operation. For the purposes of this program, an agricultural operation is defined as row, vineyard, field and tree crops, commercial nurseries, nursery stock production, and greenhouse operations producing food crops or flowers as defined in Food and Agricultural Code section 77911.
- Academic university research institutions and state governmental organizations are not eligible for funding.
- An agricultural operation cannot submit more than one application per unique tax identification number.
- An agricultural operation cannot receive a total cumulative SWEEP award amount of more than $600,000.
- Applications cannot build upon any previously funded SWEEP projects directly affecting the same Assessor’s Parcel Numbers (APNs). However, applicants are encouraged to apply for a new project with different APNs.
- An applicant must be at least 18 years old and associated with the project.
-Projects must reduce on-farm irrigation water use and reduce GHG emissions.
- SWEEP funds may be combined with other funds as match for the same project, such as funds from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP). However, SWEEP funds cannot cover activities or costs funded by other federal or state grant programs.

SWEEP grant funds cannot be used to:
• Expand existing agricultural operations (i.e., additional new acreage cannot be converted to farmland)
• Install new groundwater wells or increase well depth
• Test new technology or perform research

Pre-proposal Conference:

CDFA Informational Workshops
CDFA will host three informational webinars for potential applicants of SWEEP:

- Monday 10/25/2021 from 10am-12pm
Link: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_rCaMjGLzQwO6PfS2VqmENQ
- Thursday 11/4/2021 from 9am-11am
Link: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_TCY5iXo1QWOKRJOaAEFIDQ
- Monday 11/15/2021 from 1pm-3pm
Link: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_vIYKUkfOQbeUSsJ3ycVxpw

Pre-Application Information:

Timeline:
- Release Request for Grant Applications: (RGA) October 19, 2021
- CDFA grant application webinars: October – November 2021
- Grant applications due: No later than January 18, 2022 or when available funding is expended
- Administrative and technical review: October 2021 – January 2022
- Announce and award funding: October 2021 – January 2022

CDFA will conduct three rounds of Questions and Answers (Q&A) to address general questions about the application submission process and program requirements. Responses to all questions received during the workshops and webinar or by email will be posted to CDFA’s SWEEP website according to the following schedule:

Questions Received by: Monday, October 25, 2021
Responses Posted by: Friday, October 29, 2021
Questions Received by: Monday, November 15, 2021
Responses Posted by: Friday, November 19, 2021
Questions Received by: Monday, December 13, 2021
Responses Posted by: Friday, December 17, 2021

SWEEP Workshop #1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMAMVR6pcCw

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online: https://webportalapp.com/sp/2021_cdfa_sweep

Direct questions to cdfa.sweeptech@cdfa.ca.gov.

California Department of Food and Agriculture
Office of Environmental Farming and Innovation
1220 N St.
Sacramento, CA 95814

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: California

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