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News Release

News - $1.5 Million Available to Improve On-Farm Water Resources in San Joaquin County

Natural Resources Conservation Service - News Release

$1.5 Million Available to Improve On-Farm Water Resources in San Joaquin County

Applications are due by February 15, 2013, for consideration

Contact:
Jonathan Groveman (530) 792-5692
Ora Van Steyn (209) 472-7127

STOCKTON, Calif., Jan. 28, 2013—The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California has set February 15 as the deadline to apply for financial assistance to address critical water quality issues in San Joaquin County. This funding is anticipated to help eligible farmers implement water quality and irrigation efficiency practices in selected San Joaquin County watersheds.

"Farmers in San Joaquin County are committed to protecting our critical water resources and this additional money will allow us to fund dozens of more contracts for a significant, net benefit," said Ora Van Steyn, NRCS district conservationist in San Joaquin County. "Together, NRCS and selected farmers will do a great amount of good over the next five years."

This funding will assist growers in the French Camp Slough, Duck Creek, Lone Tree Creek and Littlejohns Creek watersheds reduce water losses on-farm, and to reduce nutrient, sediment and chemical loads at the edge of fields. This effort will support the work of the San Joaquin County & Delta Water Quality Coalition in its efforts to meet the requirements of the California Regional Water Quality Control Board's Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program. This work includes addressing pesticides and herbicides found in runoff.

Interested farmers in San Joaquin County should visit the NRCS Service Center in Stockton, located at 3422 West Hammer Lane, Stockton, CA 95219, or call (209) 472-7127.

This financial assistance is being made available through the Bay Delta Initiative (BDI), which was created in 2011 to help farmers in California’s central valley apply enhanced water quality-improvement practices on their land over a multi-year process. BDI is one of a dozen national initiatives aimed at assisting farmers put added conservation practices on the ground through a landscape-level approach. The approved watersheds in San Joaquin County were identified in Fiscal Year 2012 to receive five years worth of BDI funds to accomplish local goals.

"I wouldn’t have been able to install this drip irrigation system without NRCS’s funding assistance," said Mike Ballatore, a local farmer who received BDI funds in 2012. "This new drip technology is so efficient and will save so much water compared to my old flood system."

NRCS has provided leadership in a partnership effort to help America's private land owners and managers conserve their soil, water and other natural resources since 1935. For more information on NRCS, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov.

-NRCS-

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