State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program
Program deadline: To be announced (closed in March 2019)
Project Timeframe: 18 Months
SWEEP grants encourage producers to reduce both their water consumption and their greenhouse gas emissions. Successful applications must increase water efficiency and demonstrate the impact that the project will have on emissions. CDFA will award funds up to $100,000 but encourages applicants to find matching funds.
Eligible practices include:
- Installation of a variable frequency drive
- Pump retrofit or replacement
- Soil moisture sensors
- Electronic weather station linked to irrigation controller
- Use of evapotranspiration (ET) based irrigation scheduling
- Conversion to micro-irrigation or drip irrigation
- Pump conversion from diesel to electric or to renewable energy such as solar
- Conversion to low-pressure irrigation system
What does this look like?
Here are a couple examples of successful SWEEP projects in the Central Valley :
- With SWEEP funds, farmer Pao Yang in Fresno County replaced valves and installed drip irrigation throughout the farm, resulting in significant water use and cost savings.
- He also halved his energy use and thereby significantly decreased his farm’s greenhouse gas emissions.
- The new, more efficient irrigation system has also decreased the number of weeds, which increases the farm’s profitability.
- The MC Fagundes ranch won funding to replace a diesel pump with an electric pump and a variable frequency drive.
- They also installed a weather station that monitors solar radiation, air temperature, humidity, rainfall, and wind. They can then use that information to estimate daily evapotranspiration rates. This enables the farm to base their irrigation schedule on ET rates and thereby only irrigate their almonds when necessary.
- This project thus decreases greenhouse gas emissions by replacing an inefficient pump with a more efficient one and increases water efficiency by reducing unnecessary irrigation.
- The West Star North Dairy received funding to transform the irrigation system of their alfalfa field from flood irrigation to 2-set drip irrigation.
- They installed a flow meter to measure water use, a new 50hp booster pump with a 50hp variable frequency drive, and a soil moisture probe.
- The dairy can now decrease their greenhouse gas emissions using the more efficient variable frequency drive and by reducing the amount of flooding in their fields, which can lead to methane emissions. It also increases water use efficiency by installing drip irrigation instead of continuing to use the less efficient flood system.
How to Apply
The grant process includes a web-based application consisting of a series of questions that can be saved and returned to before submitting: https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/sweep/
It is helpful to obtain quotes for projects and schedule a pump efficiency test before starting the application, as you will need them to complete the application.
Please contact UC Cooperative Extension specialist Shulamit Shroder at email@example.com for questions or help with the application.