Farmers receive funding for efficient technologies, but where is the water?

The Federal Government recently announced that it would spend $10 million in aid to farmers in the San Joaquin Valley. This aid is not just for any San Joaquin Valley farmers, it is meant to help farmers who want to retrofit their irrigation equipment to more efficient technologies.
This should create a great surge in water conservation as well as jobs for irrigation workers. However, some farms already have efficient irrigation systems. This federal aid should significantly decrease water use in the area, depending on how it is allocated.
Recent water allotments were as low as 10% of the amount requested. As a result of this allotment as well as inefficient technologies, the water was not enough to go around. Many farmers were left without any water, a situation which often leads to catastrophes at farms. Without water, there are no crops. Without crops, there is no income.
The Environmental Quality Initiatives Program is accepting applications until April 9, 2010. There was $3 million available last year, and approximately $10 million for this year. While this aid will help spur the movement towards efficient irrigation systems, it is up to farmers to really make a difference.
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Brian O’Neill


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