published on February 22, 2011 - 3:52 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

The Dinuba-based Coalition for Urban/Rural Environmental Stewardship is administering $8 million in grant funding available for Central Valley farmers to prevent harmful runoff from reaching streams and rivers.

CURES said the grants will pay farmers 75% of the cost of management practices such as holding ponds, recirculation systems and drip systems on farms to keep sediment and other farm inputs from area waterways. The money comes from a grant provided by the State Water Resources Control Board through Proposition 84, a bond initiative approved by voters in 2006.

The grant funding will be directed to farms in watersheds where water quality monitoring has identified problems associated with releases from irrigated agriculture. Participating growers must make changes to irrigation and farming practices to meet requirements under the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program, mandated by the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board.

CURES will identify landowners eligible for funding.

“This funding can be a tremendous aid to farmers of crops that have difficulty making capital improvements due to lack of profitability in recent years,” said Parry Klassen, executive director of CURES, in a statement. “Priority for the funding will be fields located in watersheds with existing management plans and have frequent irrigation or storm water drainage runoff.”

Waterways with management plans are located in the northern San Joaquin Valley, San Joaquin/Sacramento River Delta and the southern Sacramento Valley, according to CURES.

Grant applications will be available March 1. For more information, visit

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