New USGS grants to help communities meet agricultural water challenges

Sponsored by


WASHINGTON, DC, Feb. 27, 2014 -- As part of a new initiative to provide solutions to agricultural water challenges, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on Monday, Feb. 24, that USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) will make $6 million in grants available this year and up to $30 million total available over the next five years. 

The grants will be used to develop management practices, technologies and tools for farmers, ranchers, forest owners, and citizens to improve water resources quantity and quality. Accordingly, Monday's announcement builds on USDA's efforts to help farmers, ranchers and forest landowners mitigate the impacts of drought, including implementation of the livestock disaster assistance programs provided through the 2014 Farm Bill and $40 million in additional conservation dollars.

"Cutting-edge research holds the key to tackling the complex challenges posed by prolonged drought and ensuring the future food security of our nation," said Vilsack. "These grants will help arm America's farmers and ranchers with the tools and strategies they need to adapt and succeed, and build on ongoing, cross-governmental efforts to provide relief to those impacted by severe drought."

NIFA has identified three critical topics that will be funded through this new challenge area: ensuring the water security of surface and ground water needed to produce agricultural goods and services; improving nutrient management in agricultural landscapes focused on nitrogen and phosphorous; and reducing impacts of chemicals and the presence and movement of environmental pathogens in the nation's water supply. NIFA's approach will link social, economic and behavioral sciences with traditional biophysical sciences and engineering to address regional scale issues with shared hydrological processes and meteorological and basin characteristics.

NIFA is expected to make $30 million available over the next five years for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) water challenge area, with the expectation that the new projects awarded this fiscal year would receive additional funding in the following four years. All additional funding is contingent on future congressional appropriations and achievement of project objectives and milestones. Building on its investment in water research, NIFA will also fund projects through the National Integrated Water Quality Program (NIWQP), which addresses critical water resource issues including water quality protection and water conservation. The RFA for this program is expected to be released in the spring of 2014.

See also:

"USDA funding to improve water, wastewater infrastructure across nation"

"New Farm Bill spurs partnership between agriculture, clean water agencies"

###

Sponsored by

TODAY'S HEADLINES

Partnership enables USGS to help assess water resources in Afghanistan

For the past decade, USGS scientists have shared their expertise with the Afghanistan Geological Survey in efforts to establish an inventory of Afghanistan's water resources. As such, a new fact sheet details how these efforts help the country quantify and monitor these resources.

Xylem awarded contract for Southeast Asia run-of-river hydropower dam

A contract worth $19.6 million has been awarded to Xylem to provide custom-made Flygt pumps for the Xayaburi run-of-river hydropower dam in the country of Laos in Southeast Asia.

Rare collaboration aims to reduce nutrient pollution in Mississippi River Basin

The U.S. Water Alliance issued a report highlighting common ground and innovative strategies between agriculture and water and wastewater utilities to reduce nutrient pollution in the Mississippi River Basin.

Desalination global news round-up

Join WWi chief editor Tom Freyberg for a round-up of the latest global desalination news stories in the video newscast below...

FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA