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District projects boost efficiency


Reclamation building pipes, lining canals; NRCS aids irrigation


By TIM HEARDEN


Capital Press


SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Farmers in five central and southern California water districts will see improved efficiency in their water delivery as a result of projects being undertaken by two federal agencies.


The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and Natural Resources Conservation Service are doing $5.3 million worth of districtwide and on-farm projects to save water and improve water management.


The projects will be done in Henry Miller Reclamation District 2131 in the Dos Palos area, the Firebaugh Canal Water District, the Tulare Irrigation District, the Rancho California Water District in the Temecula area, and the Central California Irrigation District in the Los Banos area.


Reclamation will do projects such as piping or lining canals, while the NRCS will help farmers with installing materials such as buried irrigation tape or micro-sprinklers, said Kevin Clancy, a water conservation specialist for the Bureau of Reclamation here.


"It's a win-win in a collaborative effort between two federal agencies," Clancy said. "That you don't see a lot of. That's the unique thing about this program."


Growers in the districts can sign up with NRCS for help with on-farm improvements through the end of May, said Anita Brown, an agency spokeswoman in Davis.


"Our folks at NRCS have been in communication with local people to see what are the logical practices that farmers in that area will be able to do to take advantage of the infrastructure changes being made," Brown said.


The latest projects continue an effort the two agencies started in various water districts last year. In all, $2.3 million will be used this year for district-level efficiencies while $3 million is devoted to technical assistance to growers, according to a news release.




Online


U.S. Bureau of Reclamation water conservation: http://www.usbr.gov/mp/watershare/


NRCS conservation programs: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/programs



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