PALATKA, Fla., Jan. 22, 2018 ― The St. Johns River Water Management District is currently accepting applications through Feb. 16, 2018, from farmers and ranchers interested in participating in the districtwide Agricultural Cost-share Program funding for agricultural projects that promote water conservation and reduction of nutrient runoff.
“Our goal is to engage the agricultural community by encouraging more efficient water use and reducing excess nutrients entering natural waterways,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “Implementing agricultural best management practices can provide long-lasting benefits to growers and ranchers.”
The program provides up to 75 percent of cooperative funding, not to exceed $250,000 per applicant annually, toward the design, construction and implementation of technologies and strategies to improve water efficiencies and protect natural systems. In total, up to $1.5 million is available to support this round of cost-share funding.
Eligible projects include irrigation system retrofits, soil moisture and climate sensor technology, rainwater recovery, subirrigation drain tile, tailwater recovery and reuse, expanded waste storage, and soil mapping with variable rate fertilizer application.
To ensure a return on investment in the form of an actual reduction in water use, one requirement of the cost-share agreement is that the recipient be willing to memorialize the savings produced by district funds through a modification in terms of a decrease in their consumptive use permit.
A list of eligible projects and equipment can be found online at www.sjrwmd.com/localgovernments/funding/#agriculture-2018, along with details about the application, review and selection process.
District staff will evaluate each project based on the evaluation criteria approved by the district’s Governing Board and prepare a recommended list for board approval tentatively scheduled for April 2018.
For more information, visit the district’s website or contact technical program manager Suzanne Archer at email@example.com.