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EMWD Receives Agriculture Efficiency Grant from Bureau of Reclamation

U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation.

The grant funding is part of the Agricultural Water Conservation and Efficiency program and is a joint program between the USBR and the National Resources Conservation Service. EMWD was one of three agencies nationally to receive funding in the program.

The grant funding will support new technology to assist local agriculture producers in becoming more efficient and provide better understanding of their water use needs. It will include real-time online tracking of water use, creating weather-based water budgets for local farms, and the replacement of irrigation infrastructure to more water-efficient devices.

EMWD has worked with Cal Poly San Luis Obispo over the past year on a study to survey what irrigation equipment is used by local farmers and to provide recommendations on what changes could be made to allow agricultural operations to become more efficient.

There are more than 10,000 acres of actively farmed agricultural operations in EMWD’s service area. This includes a variety of fruits, vegetables and fodder crops. A vast majority of local farmland uses recycled water for irrigation. EMWD is among the national leaders in recycled water use and continually uses 100 percent of its recycled water supplies each year.

“Our area has a rich agricultural history, and we want to ensure that we continue working with our local agricultural community and offering them a variety of resources,” EMWD President David Slawson said. “By incorporating technology and updated irrigation equipment, our agriculture customers will be able to further increase their water use efficiency for many years to come.

“EMWD appreciates the ongoing support of the Bureau of Reclamation and we are appreciative of the longstanding partnership between our two agencies.”

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Eastern Municipal Water District is the water, wastewater service and recycled water provider to approximately 816,000 people living and working within a 555-square mile service area in western Riverside County. It is California’s sixth-largest retail water agency and its mission is “To deliver value to our customers and the communities we serve by providing safe, reliable, economical and environmentally sustainable water, wastewater and recycled water services.” More information can be found at