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State Opens Up Grant Money to Valley Farmers to Cut Water Use
gvw_edward_smith
By Edward Smith
Published 10 months ago on
June 16, 2023

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Funding is available for farmers in select water districts to decrease water use.

The California Department of Water Resources opened the application period Wednesday for the LandFlex Program, according to a DWR news release.

Growers in the following districts are eligible:

  • Westlands Water District
  • Lower Tule River Irrigation District
  • Mid-Kaweah
  • Pixley Irrigation District

About $10 million is available in grants to growers for groundwater recharge, fallowing land, or planting cover crops. Growers can receive up to $350 per acre-foot of water saved, up to $1,000 per acre-foot to permanently eliminate water demand, and between $250 and $2,800 per acre to remove permanent tree crops.

Eligibility is limited to growers making less than $2.5 million gross annually. The application period closes on June 28.

Land close to dry or drying wells will be given priority in grant scoring, officials say.

Fresno County Communities Receive DWR Grants

DWR also announced its 10th round of funding totaling $10 million through the Small Community Drought Relief Program on Wednesday.

Several projects in Fresno County are receiving assistance. They are:

  • Parlier, which is struggling to meet daily water demand because of a failing well, will get $765,000 to rehabilitate an existing well.
  • Waterworks District 40, serving the Shaver Springs community, will receive $1.2 million to drill a new well and treat contaminated water from an existing well. These projects will improve water supply reliability and quality.
  • Tulare County’s North Kaweah Mutual Water Company will receive $ 40,000 to replace a leaky, old water storage tank to ensure safe and reliable water to the community of North Kaweah.

“Climate change is bringing more frequent and more intense drought conditions that create unique and serious challenges for California’s small communities,” said Kristopher Tjernell, DWR Deputy Director of Integrated Watershed Management, in a news release.

“Today’s funding is part of DWR’s larger effort to support water supply reliability statewide, especially for our most vulnerable populations.”

Since launching in 2021, the program has delivered $278 million to 138 projects designed to strengthen drought resiliency.

You can see the complete list of awards announced Wednesday at this link.

 

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Edward Smith,
Multimedia Journalist
Edward Smith began reporting for GV Wire in May 2023. His reporting career began at Fresno City College, graduating with an associate degree in journalism. After leaving school he spent the next six years with The Business Journal, doing research for the publication as well as covering the restaurant industry. Soon after, he took on real estate and agriculture beats, winning multiple awards at the local, state and national level. You can contact Edward at 559-440-8372 or at Edward.Smith@gvwire.com.

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