When it comes to growing food, water is everything.
That’s why California unveiled its State Water Efficiency & Enhancement Program — also known as SWEEP — nearly a decade ago. The grant program was created to provide financial incentives for agricultural operations to invest in irrigation systems that save water, reduce greenhouse gas emission, cut back on energy costs, and improve the overall environment. Since its launch, SWEEP has awarded grants to more than 1,000 projects, covering more than 168,000 acres of California farmland along the way.
The program is working, too. More than $123 million has been awarded to date, with more than $70 million in matching funds contributed by the awardees themselves. SWEEP’s benefits reach far beyond the growers, farmers, and ranchers who’ve received financial assistance. The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) estimates that over 93,000 metric tons of CO2 will be reduced annually (the equivalent of taking 20,000 cars off the road for an entire year) by the program, along with 47.1 billion gallons of water (enough to fill 72,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools). For a state that provides much of America’s food, those numbers are encouraging!
SWEEP will open its next grant application period in November 2023. Sam Baldivia, the irrigation sales manager at FGS, wants his clients to be ready to apply. “Customers should be ready with their designs,” he recommends. “You should talk to your local sales rep about getting signed on with a local grant writer and getting your bid ready.”
FGS can help prepare customers for the application process. After all, we’re capable of custom-building irrigation systems, installing them with our own construction crews, and offering ongoing support, including our Water Treatment Preventative Maintenance Program. We love helping our customers qualify for grant programs like SWEEP and NRCS, and we offer free consultations for those looking to update their irrigation systems to more sustainable models.
Customers can find the draft request for SWEEP’s new round of grant applications here. Applications are due in January 2024, and priority will be given to proposals that are thoroughly developed. To partner with FGS on your irrigation transformation, just give us a call or contact us here. We’re here to help you get watered.