State Water Efficiency & Enhancement Program (SWEEP)
The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has begun another round of “SWEEP” funding for commercial agricultural operations.
To qualify, the project must save both water and energy. Funding is limited to $100,000 per project, with up to $600,000 per entity. Awards can include the cost of the equipment and labor (not to exceed 25% of award). Some in-kind participation (either financial or labor) is helpful. Projects must be designed and submitted by March 8th, 2019. Awards are made over the summer, and work cannot begin until after September 1st. Existing plantings are the best candidates, as the before/after results can be engineered and documented.
As a guideline, here is a list of potential projects.
• flood to drip/micro conversions (may possibly need to add solar depending on current pumping practices)
• adding solar and “advanced water management” (soil moisture sensors, flow meters) as a standalone, or in conjunction with other upgrades
• for existing drip/micro systems, adding a turbine lift pump for applying surface water, adding a reservoir, and adding “advanced water management”
• upgrading inefficient pump(s) and adding “advanced water management”
• adding double line drip to an existing micro sprinkler system and adding “advanced water management”.
• converting a diesel pump to electric, adding “advanced water management”.
• decreasing the system pressure and increasing system uniformity (typically best done using pressure compensating drip emitters)
The following equipment upgrades are always beneficial as part of an overall plan, and are eligible for funding:
• Flow meter (required at all pump locations)+ Soil moisture monitoring equipment
• Solar + VFD (variable speed pump drive, useful when multiple irrigation conditions exist)
• Adding in capability to take ditch water (a reservoir would fall into this category).
• Making an inefficient pump more efficient
The following situations are NOT good candidates:
• replacing tape products
• renewing above ground systems that are in a bad state of repair
• changing out crop types+ adding new acreage+ drilling a new well+ filter station replacements
Our rules of engagement:
• there must be a new system involved
• the projected savings must be significant (project must have a high chance of receiving a grant)
• 20ac minimum