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San Joaquin Valley Land and Water Conservation Collaborative

Year Awarded: Fiscal Year 2019

USDA Funding: $10,000,000.00

Partner-Contributed Funding: $14,241,902.00

Project Timeline: 2019-2024

Conservation Program Funded: Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP): Land Management, Rentals, and Entity-Held Easements 

California Counties: Fresno, Madera, Merced, Stanislaus, and Tulare Counties

Lead Partner: American Farmland Trust

Collaborating Partners:

  • East Stanislaus Resource Conservation District

  • East Merced Resource Conservation District

  • Madera/Chowchilla Resource Conservation District

  • Sierra Resource Conservation District

  • Tulare County Resource Conservation District

  • Conservation Biology Institute

  • The Freshwater Trust

  • California Farmland Trust

Project Summary

The San Joaquin Valley Land and Water Conservation Collaborative RCPP project aims to catalyze cooperation in the San Joaquin Valley to address water resource issues by utilizing planning tools that ensure the most efficient use of resources and result in the strategic protection and stewardship of agricultural land. It plans to strengthen the resilience of agricultural and natural systems to drought and climate change by significantly increasing the capacity of Technical Assistance (TA) providers to implement water conservation and infiltration practices. Lastly it will reach new and underserved farming communities in the valley.

Project Goals

  • Expand the San Joaquin Valley Land and Water Prioritization Framework to enhance water quantity resource conservation decisions.

  • Pilot the BasinScout™ system in Madera County for prioritizing site-specific water resource BMPs.

  • Leverage geospatial modelling tools for prioritizing cover crop and tillage management BMPs.

  • Provide water resource conservation planning on 100,000 acres to producers and landowners in the Valley.

  • Provide producers with TA and Financial Assistance (FA) to implement practices that enhance irrigation efficiency and increase water infiltration. 

  • Purchase 2-4 entity-held easements over 1,826 acres of agricultural land with high groundwater recharge potential and at risk of development. Identify an additional 15 high priority easements to fund with other state and federal sources. 

Conservation Practices/Activities

  • 327 – Conservation Cover                                         
  • 329 – Residue & Tillage Mgmt. – No Till
  • 340 – Cover Crop                                                        
  • 342 – Critical Area Planting
  • 345 – Residue & Tillage Mgmt. – Reduced Till     
  • 420 – Wildlife Habitat Planting   
  • 422 – Hedgerow Planting                                         
  • 430 – Irrigation Pipeline
  • 449 – Irrigation Water Mgmt.                                 
  • 533 - Pumping Plant
  • 587 – Structure for Water Ctrl.                               
  • 645 – Upland Wildlife Habitat Mgmt.
  • 808 – Soil Carbon Amendment 
  • 815 – Groundwater Recharge Basin or Trench
  • 817 – On-Farm Recharge                              

NRCS Contact

Andrea Casey, RCPP Coordinator
Natural Resources Conservation Service
Davis State Office, California
Phone: (530) 304-2124


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