In an effort to protect drinking water wells, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) is incentivizing growers to limit groundwater pumping with the LandFlex Program.
Using a $25 million grant awarded by the State of California, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) is working with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to distribute these funds to small- and mid-sized farms (farmers with a 3-year average Adjusted Gross Income of $2.5 million or less).
The LandFlex Program will work with Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) to determine which applicants meet the eligibility criteria (which can be found in the draft guidelines here) to qualify.
Noted in the draft guidelines, CDFA has stated that “Funding will be allocated to proposals using the proposal score, professional judgement, and available funding. The grant awards will range from approximately $7.7 to $11.6 million depending upon the number of awarded applications…The LandFlex will provide financial incentives to farmers for each enrolled acre.”
A public comment period regarding the draft guidelines began on Friday, December 9 and will close on Thursday, December 29. Submit comments to the email address SGWP@water.ca.gov.
An Applicant Workshop will be available on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023 to those interested in applying.
The application process will begin no earlier than Jan. 17, 2023, and applications must be submitted no later than Feb. 3, 2023, by 5 p.m. (PST).
To participate, “applicants must use the application form available on the Program website and submit a complete application to DWR using the e-mail address SGWP@water.ca.gov.”
The goal of this program is to slow the pumping of critically overdrafted basins in drought-stricken areas and to be proactive in the event of a fourth consecutive dry year. Visit the CDFA’s website for more information.