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February 27, 2014

SRWMD assists 13 area farmers to reduce groundwater withdrawals

Deadline to apply for next round of funds is April 4

Live Oak —

Thirteen agricultural producers within the Suwannee River Water Management District (District) have been approved to receive a total of $239,025 in cost-share funds to implement irrigation retrofits, water conservation technologies, and water-saving projects. These projects will reduce groundwater withdrawals by an estimated 1.35 million gallons of water per day (mgd).

The District’s agriculture cost-share funding will pay for the following cost-share projects:

·         Seventeen center pivot irrigation system retrofits that will save water.

·         Two pump upgrades that will provide for greater irrigation efficiency.

·         Twenty-one Global Positioning System (GPS) end-gun shutoffs to eliminate watering of non-target irrigation areas.

·         Fourteen remote controlling devices to monitor and control irrigation systems offsite, allowing systems to be shut off during rain events among other capabilities.

·         Four soil moisture probes and one weather station to assist with irrigation scheduling efficiencies.

·         Nineteen new controller panels that work in conjunction with other technology to provide greater irrigation efficiencies among other capabilities.

To date the District’s agriculture cost-share program has reduced groundwater withdrawals by an estimated 7.5 mgd. This is the second year the District has offered assistance to farmers through the program. The District has set aside $1.5 million to fund the program each fiscal year. Approved applicants are awarded funding on a quarterly basis.

Agricultural producers within the District have until April 4 to apply for cost-share funds for the next funding cycle. Funds are 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 help pay for projects that increase irrigation efficiency and water conservation and assist with water-saving technologies. 

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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