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USDA NIFA awards $9 million in grants to address water problems

Grants are to address issues such as drought, excess soil moisture, flooding and other agricultural water issues.

USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced 14 grants totaling more than $9 million to help solve critical water problems in rural and agricultural watersheds across the United States. The grants are funded through the Water for Agriculture Challenge Area of the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

“Food, water, climate, energy, and environmental issues are all linked together, which is why we invest in multi-level approaches to water management solutions,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “These solutions will improve water resource quantity and quality for America’s agricultural systems and also inform decision makers and citizens alike.”

The Water for Agriculture Challenge Area aims to address critical water resources issues such as drought, excess soil moisture, flooding, quality and quantity, and other water issues within an agricultural context.

Grants being announced today are listed by description and state.

Water for Agriculture Coordinated Agricultural Projects:

  • University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, $2,000,000
  • Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania, $2,192,992
  • Texas A&M AgriLife Research, College Station, Texas, $1,383,497

Understanding decisions and behaviors connected with agriculture and post-harvest processing industry water use:

  • University of California, Berkeley, California, $463,338
  • Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, $462,499
  • University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota, $458,043
  • University of Montana, Missoula, Montana, $462,539
  • University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska, $453,539

 Understanding the human healthy impacts to exposure from nontraditional water used in agriculture:

  • University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, $406,907
  • University of Illinois, Champaign, Illinois, $463,338
  • Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, $499,999
  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada, $495,692
  • University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada, $499,617
  • Utah State University, Logan, Utah, $500,000

Project details can be found at the NIFA website.

Among the grants, a University of Montana project will improve the efficacy of climate information for water use through developing, testing, and institutionalizing new tools for producers. A University of Florida project will ensure economic sustainability of agriculture and silviculture in Northern Florida and Southern Georgia while protecting the water quantity, quality, and habitat in the Upper Floridian Aquifer.

Since 2014, NIFA has awarded nearly $42 million through the Water for Agriculture Challenge Area.


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