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December 16, 2013

SRWMD assists 12 area farmers with water-saving technologies

Deadline to apply for next round of funds is Jan. 10

Live Oak —

Twelve agricultural producers within the Suwannee River Water Management District (District) have been approved to receive cost-share funds from the District  to implement water conservation technologies, irrigation retrofits, and other water-saving projects. These projects will reduce groundwater irrigation pumpage in the Santa Fe Basin by 0.57 million gallons of water per day (gpd) and reduce pumpage in the Suwannee Basin by 0.39 million gpd.

The producers received a total of $186,100 in cost-share funds for the improvements. The District set aside $1.5 million for the program this fiscal year and this marks the first round of those funds.

The funds will pay for the following cost-share projects:

·         Twenty-two retrofits to center pivot irrigation systems to water more efficiently.

·         One Global Positioning System (GPS) end-gun shut off, which is designed to eliminate watering of non-target areas.

·         Four new irrigation controller panels that provide greater efficiencies in irrigation and nutrient application, among other capabilities.

·         One pump upgrade, which will provide greater irrigation efficiency.

“The District is pleased to assist agricultural producers in reducing groundwater pumping, and would like to congratulate participating farmers for their interest in improving sustainability and obtaining better practices and technologies to protect our water resources,” said District Executive Director Ann Shortelle.

This is the second year the District is offering the cost-share program. To date, 89 agricultural producers have benefited from the program, which has resulted in a reduction in groundwater pumping by about 6.2 million gallons per day.

Agricultural producers within the District have until Jan. 10, 2014, to apply for cost-share funds for the next funding cycle. Funds will be awarded through a ranking process based on various criteria, including the effectiveness of the proposed project to protect, conserve, or restore water resources. The funds will pay for projects that increase irrigation efficiency and water conservation and assist with nutrient management technology. 

Interested parties may apply online through the District’s Agriculture webpage at www.mysuwanneeriver.com/agriculture or apply in person at District Headquarters, 9225 CR 49, Live Oak FL 32060.

For more information, contact Kevin Wright at 386.362.1001 or toll free at 1.800.226.1066 (FL only).

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