State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program
In 2014, under an emergency drought declaration, Governor Brown authorized a new program called the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program(SWEEP). The money comes from the state’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, raised from cap-and-trade allowance revenue. SWEEP is run by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to provide financial assistance to growers for on-farm improvements that both reduce GHG emissions and save water.
Eligible projects currently include:
- Weather, soil or plant based sensors for irrigation scheduling
- Micro-irrigation or drip systems
- Conversion of a fossil fuel 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 GHG emissions (e.g., soil management practices such as cover cropping and compost addition that increase water-holding capacity)
Since launching in 2014, the program has funded 528 projects to improve on-farm water use efficiency, for a total of $56 million. The first 361 of these projects (we’re awaiting data on the most recent 167) are resulting in annual savings of 59,757 acre-feet of water (approximately 19.5 billion gallons/year) and estimated annual emissions reductions of 16,913 Tonnes CO2e, the equivalent of taking 3,564 passenger vehicles off the road each year.
For more information on current grant cycles and application procedures, click here.
CalCAN’s Progress Report on SWEEP (May 2016)
To better understand how new climate change programs like it are working for farmers and the environment, In May 2016, CalCAN surveyed the projects funded during grant application cycles 1 – 3 and identified opportunities for program improvement. To see the report, click here.
CalCAN also did an analysis of Round 4 funding, available here.
A list of Round 5 awards, which were announced on Nov. 28, 2016, is available here.