The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) is pleased to announce the recipients of the Spring 2023 Agriculture Water Optimization Grant. This round funded 93 projects, totaling over $20 million in grant money awarded.
“We are excited to continue the charge to help Utah’s farmers and ranchers better optimize their water use on their farms,” said Agricultural Water Optimization program manager, Hannah Freeze. “The response from the agricultural producers to optimize and save water has continued to grow with each application period for this program, showing they are stepping up to be part of the solution.”
The newly funded 93 projects have an estimated water savings of 61,599 acre feet of water annually. All of the previously funded projects to date have an estimated yearly water savings of 172,847 acre feet or over 56 billion gallons of water.
The $20 million awarded to the Spring 2023 applicants was provided by the Utah Legislature in the 2022 legislative session as part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds provided to the state of Utah. Additional funds were appropriated for this program in the 2023 legislative session and future application periods will be available.
The Agricultural Water Optimization program was initially funded in the 2019 Legislative Session with the purpose of reducing consumptive water use while maintaining or improving agriculture production; improving water quantification to provide real-time, accurate measurements; and to improve and protect surface and ground water quality by reducing the overwatering of crops.
Recipients can receive up to $500,000 for their projects and a 50/50 cost share is required. For additional information on grant and application requirements, please visit https://ag.utah.gov/ag-water-optimization.