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Agricultural Water Use Efficiency & State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program – DWR/CDFA Joint RFP

Solicitations and Guidelines

Through this competitive grant program, DWR and CDFA intend to demonstrate the potential multiple benefits of conveyance enhancements combined with on-farm agricultural water use efficiency improvements and greenhouse gas reductions. The grant funding provided in this joint program is intended to address multiple goals including: 1) water use efficiency, conservation and reduction, 2) greenhouse gas emission reductions, 3) groundwater protection, and 4) sustainability of agricultural operations and food production. It is also anticipated that there will be benefits to water and air quality, groundwater security, surface water conservation, and improved nutrient management and crop health through this program. Excellent proposals will demonstrate the specific regional needs and benefits of their proposals.

Grant Application Process

The program will be administered as a competitive grant program and will include a joint application process involving agricultural water suppliers and agricultural operators within the service area. Part I will be completed by the agricultural water supplier and Part II will be completed by each of the individual agricultural operators. The agricultural water supplier will be the principal applicant, coordinating the involvement of agricultural operations and submitting one joint application (Parts I and all Part II applications) and the required documentation.

Projects Types

Projects that enhance and upgrade the supplier’s water conveyance, delivery and water measurement system to allow on-demand and flexible farm-gate deliveries, reduce spills and losses, increase the efficiency, and improve water management. A water supplier’s proposed project must generate State benefits to be eligible for grant funding. Benefits to the State include: water savings; increased in-stream flow or improved flow timing; improved water quality; increased energy conservation; reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; and increased local water supply reliability. The project must be located within California.

On-farm agricultural operations must achieve both GHG emission reductions and water savings to be eligible for funding. In addition, projects must: (i) use the associated improvements made to the surface water conveyance system proposed by the associated agricultural water supplier as part of the joint application, and (ii) eliminate on-farm groundwater pumping.

To be eligible for funding, projects are not required to be in an adopted Integrated Regional Water Management Plan or to comply with that program (CWC §79746(b), but preference will be given for projects that are (Water Codes §10544).

Eligible Applicants

The following entities involved with water management are eligible to apply (CWC §7912(a)):
Public agencies, public utilities, federally recognized or state Indian tribes on California’s Tribal consultation list, nonprofit organizations, mutual water companies, and investor-owned utilities regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission. Applicants that are agricultural water suppliers must adopt and submit an agricultural water management plan in accordance with §10800, of Division 6 of the CWC and comply with the requirements of Part 2.55 (commencing with §10608) of Division 6 of the CWC prior to grant execution (CWC §79712(b)(3) and (4). Applicants that are also urban water suppliers must adopt and submit an urban water management plan in accordance with the Urban Water Management Planning Act (Part 2.6, commencing with §10610, of Division 6 of the CWC) (CWC §79712(b)(2)).

Available Funding

DWR has set aside $3 million from Proposition 1 to incentivize the water conveyance component of this joint agricultural water use efficiency and enhancement program. Proposition 1 requires that agricultural water suppliers provide a 50% cost share of total project costs.

CDFA has also set aside $3 million from SWEEP to incentivize the installation of irrigation systems that save water and reduce greenhouse gases on farms in the area that will directly benefit from the conveyance system incentivized by DWR. The maximum grant award per agricultural operation is $200,000 with a recommended, but not required, 50% match of the total project cost. CDFA reserves the right to offer an award different than the amount requested.

Separate contracts with each department will be necessary to receive both sets of funds. A joint proposal may include a request for up to $3 million for the water supplier’s conveyance upgrades (to be funded by DWR) and up to $3 million for enhancements of on-farm agricultural operations to be funded by CDFA (with a cap of $200,000 per operation). This would allow for 15 agricultural operations (at $200,000 each) to partner with the water supplier to submit the joint proposal at the maximum award amount of $6 million. More than 15 agricultural operations could be funded if amounts lower than the cap are requested in individual agricultural operator applications.

Guidelines and Proposal Solicitation Package

- Agricultural Water Use Efficiency & State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program – [PDF]
- Water Supplier Part I Application Forms
- Water Supplier Application Template Attach_6
- Agricultural Operator Budget Worksheet
- Part II Attachement A – Agricultural Operation's Application Questionnaire
- See Air Resources Board Calculator Tools under “Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA)” and “State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program - DWR (Prop 1) Joint Project” located here: [Link]

Date Location
September 27, 2016
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Public Workshop:
Fresno County Farm Bureau
1274 W Hedges Ave
Fresno, CA 93728
Telephone: (559) 237-0263
September 28, 2016
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Public Workshop*:
Department of Water Resources
Northern Region Office
2440 Main Street, Large Conference Room
Red Bluff, California 96080
(530) 529-7367
September 29, 2016
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Public Workshop:
Coachella Valley Water District
Rummonds Training Room
51-501 Tyler Street
Coachella, CA 92236
January 17, 2017 Release Final Request for Proposals
January 17-April 21, 2017 Application Period
January 23, 2017 Application Workshop*
July 2017 Announce and Award Funding
* Workshop will also be webcast   DWR Calendar

Public Comments

Deadline for submitting public comments is September 30, 2016

Additional Guidelines and References
  • Water Code Compliance Requirements
  • Supplemental Guidance for Determining Water Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions (include USDA NRCS Irrigation Water Savings Calculator, link on pg. iii, CARB Interim Quantification Methodology for SWEEP link and CDFA GHG Calculation Tool for Fuels link on pg. vi)
Title Name Phone Number Email
Program Manager Fethi BenJemaa 916-651-7025
Project Manager Marty Berbach 916-651-9216