SWEEP Funds Offer Growers with Opportunity to Improve Water Management
The State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) provides up to $100,000 for practices that improve water use efficiency and reduce energy used for water management. While the California Department of Food and Agriculture has not yet established a date to reopen the SWEEP application process, it is scheduled to reopen in late 2019.
California avocado growers are encouraged to apply for SWEEP funds as the program provides grants for a wide range of integrated practices and improvements, including:
- Installing more efficient irrigation systems
- Replacing pumps that use fossil fuels with those that use renewable energy sources (e.g., solar pumps)
- Retrofitting pumps
- Utilizing tools such as moisture sensors, flow meters, weather stations, automatic shut off values
- Adding variable frequency drives
- Converting water delivery pipes to reduce friction losses
- Applying mulch
- Irrigation management training
Now is the perfect time to review the list of 2018 SWEEP grant recipients to gather some ideas concerning irrigation efficiency projects and then begin gathering the data needed to complete the application. The California Avocado Commission will keep growers apprised of the SWEEP program and its expected grant application process reopening date.