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Water Optimization Program

2021 applications now open through July 2, 2021

 

Water Optimization Funding Criteria

The purpose of this grant is to effectuate the following goals:

    • Improve Water Optimization by the following methods: reduce consumptive water use while maintaining or improving agriculture production and profitability, and provide increased operational flexibility for agriculture water users moving forward.
    • Improve Water Quantification: show accurate, real time measurement of diverted water to demonstrate actual water savings in CFS or acre foot.

 

General information:

    • $250,000 cap: special consideration may be given for projects which are located within areas showing increased pressure on water resources, or provide exceptional optimization benefits.
    • 50/50 cost share: Other funds may be used to match Water Optimization grant funds including in-kind match (in-kind match will be valued on NRCS EQIP cost list). 
    • Cultural Resource (SHPO) review is required on all projects that are funded: The applicant will provide a SHPO report prior to beginning work on the project, and no payment reimbursement will be processed until UDAF has received the SHPO report. Any invoices with dates prior to the SHPO date will not be paid.
    • 20% of the total grant funding will be withheld until: (1) the final project report has been submitted, reviewed; (2) the project determined to be complete by onsite inspection; and (3) all grant requirements have been met. 
  • Final project reports must include the following:
      • Was the project implemented as planned?
      • If not, include a list of changes made to the project and how they affected the project’s purpose.  
      • Pictures of the project before, during, and after completion of the project. 
      • The project report must be written so an auditor or the public can understand the purpose of the project, how the project functions and its water optimization benefits.
      • A description of the metering and water savings.
    • UDAF staff may conduct on-site or virtual project “spot checks” at any time during the construction of the project, and during the life of the project. UDAF staff will attempt to provide Grantee with prior notice of a spot check whenever possible.
  • Incomplete applications will not be evaluated or ranked.
  • Projects will be ranked. Ranking will be based on the criteria listed in the project application requirements and will be evaluated by committee to ensure that the project meets the stated program goals.

 

Water Optimization Project Application Requirements:

  1. Explanation of how the project furthers the goals of water optimization, which include: quantification of agriculture water, methods, systems, technologies to maintain or increase agriculture production while reducing agriculture water diversion and consumption, measure water gains on a basin level, evaluate variety of agriculture crops or products, opportunities to improve water practices and local needs, optimize water use, and protect water quality.
  2. Culture Resource (SHPO) review is required on all projects that are funded. The applicant will provide a SHPO report prior to beginning work on the project, and no payment reimbursement will be processed until UDAF has received the SHPO report. Any invoices with dates prior to the SHPO date will not be paid.
  3. Criteria. Please ensure the following topics are addressed with specificity in your application:
    • Scalability: can the project be replicated?  If so, at what scale: basin level or state-wide level?
    • Number and type of beneficiaries: individual water user, adjacent water user/Irrigation Company, others within the watershed (downstream water users), Environment/aquatic species/wildlife/recreation, etc. 
    • Project description and design.
    • Who designed project (example, PE, NRCS, UDAF planner, etc.)?
    • Project cost.
    • Funding amount request.
    • Estimated completion date.
    • List of other funding sources and their contribution to the project.
    • Water optimization or savings: percentage water saved, acre foot of water saved, and total acres the project impacts. 
    • Cost per acre.
    • Past crop production records: tons per acre, bushel per acre, and/or other, depending on crop type. 
    • Detailed description and data of pre-project water use/measurement.  
    • Detailed description and type of water measurement equipment to be installed, including how often data is recorded, where data will be stored, and duration of data storage. 
    • Map of project area, including acres covered, and location within the state of Utah.
    • County, watershed 12-digit HUC, and water right number.
    • Producer performance: provide other project(s) participated in, include contact information.
    • Water quality benefit.

 

Reporting Requirements:

  • Annual report(s) are required to participate in this grant program and must be submitted each year for 3 years immediately following the date of project completion. The purpose of these reports is to verify that the project is functioning as planned and water optimization goals are being met. Each report shall include:
    • Water diverted (in CFS or acre foot) for irrigation season. May include: per irrigation watering, number of watering per crop, and per season.
    • Irrigation season.
    • Acres irrigated.
    • Crop(s) irrigated.
    • Production record: tons per acre, bushel per acre, and/or other, depending on crop type.
  • Annual reports may be shared with the Division of Water Resources, Division of Water Quality, and the Division of Water Rights.
  • UDAF reserves the right to request other information required by state or federal entities, or the legislature.

Grant Application:

Click here to view the FY2022 Water Optimization Grant

Learn more from the AmpliFund Applicant Training Video Series:

For more information contact Jay Olsen: jayolsen@utah.gov, 801-718-0517