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Water Funding Resources


National


Agricultural Conservation Easement
Direct payments for managing, maintaining, and expanding projects like expanding cover crops, ecologically-based pest management, and transitions to organic farming. Payments can go up to $40,000/year and up to $200,000 over a 5-year project plan. Contact nrcscig@wdc.usda.gov

Environmental Quality Incentives Program
Investments in solutions for conserving natural resources and improving agricultural systems. This funding is available for improving water and air quality, conserving ground and surface water, improving soil health and wildlife habitats, reducing erosion, and preventing drought and weather volatility. Contact clint.evans@co.usda.gov

Emergency Conservation Program
Provides emergency funding for farmers and ranchers to rehabilitate farmland damaged by wind erosion, floods, hurricanes, or other natural disasters, and for carrying out emergency water conservation measures during periods of severe drought. The natural disaster must create new conservation problems that Federal assistance is (or will be) required to return the land to productive agricultural use.


California


Water Conservation Program
Grants that cover 50% of costs for pipelining improvements up to $600/acre; 25% cost-share for upgrading irrigation systems. They also offer 3% interest loans of up to $1000/acre. Apply Online

State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP)
Grants to Install irrigation systems that save agricultural water use and reduce greenhouse gasses. This includes soil moisture monitoring, drip systems, switching to low pressure irrigation systems, and more efficient pump retrofits.

CDFA - OEFI - Sustainable California Grown Cannabis Pilot Program
Funding to develop better systems for sustainable outdoor cannabis cultivation. The focus is on sustainable water and energy use; pest management, better fertilizer practices; and soil health.

The Water Efficiency Technical Assistance (WETA)
$5 million available for grants to farmers that would like to improve their design for agricultural operations with better on-farm water and energy use as well as better nutrient management.

Healthy Soils Program
The Healthy Soils Program stems from the California Healthy Soils Initiative, a collaboration of state agencies and departments to promote the development of healthy soils on California's farmlands and ranchlands.

Climate Smart Agriculture
The State of California has four Climate Smart Agriculture programs that provide resources for California farmers, ranchers and Tribes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and store carbon in soils and trees, while providing multiple benefits to agriculture and the environment.

The Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation
The Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation (SALC) Program fights climate change by protecting our productive farmlands and encouraging compact transit-oriented communities.

Farmworker Foundation Grants
These grant programs provide financial assistance for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers on a variety of projects that address environmental concerns, water & air quality, improved soil health, irrigation efficiency, value-added marketing programs, reduced soil erosion, renewable energy, and more.


Colorado


Statewide Water Plan Grants
Grant funding for projects with multiple benefits, stakeholders, and purposes. Applications due Feb. 1, 2023.

Colorado Water Trust
For agriculture, municipalities, water providers, and industrial users for protecting water resources, delivery and headgate system upgrades and efforts to improve and protect streamflows. Contact mohara@coloradowatertrust.org

ATM Water Grants
For developing and installing improved ways of transferring agricultural water. Some project goals that qualify include rotational fallowing, long-term water banks, alternate cropping, deficit irrigation alternatives, and groundwater sustainability.

Colorado Healthy Rivers
Funding for projects that help Colorado have cleaner water and wildlife habitats. Contact info@coloradowater.org

Conservation Reserve Program
Matching funds for agriculture for between $1,000 and $5,000. Contact dnr_cpwpartners@state.co.us

Gunnison Conservancy District Program
For water efficiency improvements, new storage, improved delivery, and restoring habitats. 50% match. Contact jill@ugrwcd.org

Nature Conservancy
Supporting farmers and municipalities in western Colorado, the Nature Conservancy helps fund ditch improvement projects. Contact aderwingson@tnc.org

Upper Yampa Water Measurement Mini Grant
Only $500 each but you can apply it for each device you'd like to upgrade - measuring, control components like flowmeters and headgates. Covers up to 50% of total cost. Contact kcraig@upperyampawater.com

Non-Point Source Funding
Funding for projects like converting from flood irrigation, that protect and restore water resources and prevent pollution from problems with selenium, sediment, and pathogens. Contact christa.trendle@state.co.us

Water Supply Reserve Fund
Grants and loans for technical help, water-needs studies, and structural water projects.


New Mexico


Water Project Fund
The Water Project Fund gives out loans and grants for Water Trust Board projects. This organization has reliable revenue sources and funds applications every year for a variety of New Mexico water projects including water storage and delivery, flood prevention, watershed restoration and management, water conservation and reuse.

Green Our Planet
Green Our Planet works to empower student achievement while giving lessons on conservation, nutrition, and financial skills. With an emphasis on creating school gardens they organize and create intriguing educational gardening adventures. Their $8,000 school garden grants will pay for 80% of the program costs. All schools are welcome to apply!

Agricultural Conservation Easement Program
These programs help landowners restore, protect and improve working farms, wetlands, grasslands, and ranches. Native American tribes have access to these grants that prioritize protecting and improving wildlife and migratory bird habitats.

Emergency Conservation Program
ECP provides help for farmers and ranchers to regenerate farmlands damaged by natural disasters or in need of improved methods for water conservation. Because of the recent severe drought conditions, ways to save water have become a priority for these grants.

Conservation Incentive Contracts
These grants prioritize carbon sequestration and improving soil health. These contracts strengthen the supply, quality, and condition of natural resources by improving irrigation systems, water drainage, water management, and till methods. They focus on locations with degradation in the areas of water and soil quality, available water and soil erosion. They give annual incentive payments for setting up better management practices, conservation evaluation, and monitoring.

Western SARE Farmer/Rancher Grant
For agricultural producers and technical advisors working on sustainable agriculture projects, these grants help integrate education and research into on-site/on-farm experiments for improving production, marketing, and the environment while creating quantifiable benefits.


National Loan Programs


U.S. Department of Agriculture
$3.1 billion for distressed farm loan borrowers provided through the Inflation Reduction Act. 13,000 borrowers have already received support.

Farm Ownership Loans
To “keep America's agriculture growing" up to 100 percent financing to buy land, improve, and expand operations and productivity. Maximum loan amount of $600,000. Links to offices by the state.

Native American Tribal Loans
To help Tribes buy property, expand their operations, save farmland for future generations, and increase agricultural productivity. Application

Microloan Programs
For small, beginning farmer operations like truck farms, farmers’ markets, CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture), restaurants, organic farms, hydroponic, aquaponic and vertical grows. Application

For Women and Minority Farmers
Guaranteed loan funds for operations, direct ownership, and microloans for women, african-Americans, Alaskan and American indians, Hispanic, Native Hawaiian, Asian-Americans, and Pacific Islanders. Application

Youth Loans
Loans for young people to start up and operate small agricultural projects. Age must be between 10 and 20 years old and usually co-signers are not required. Application