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USDA providing grants to tackle water quality and accessibility

Up to $10 million being made available to agricultural communities

By Diego Flammini,

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has awarded 21 grants totaling nearly $10 million to universities across the country to help agricultural communities with water-related issues.

"Water is our most precious resource, one that is essential for both human survival and well-being and for our ability to grow our crops and livestock," said Sonny Ramaswamy, NIFA director in a press release. "By funding research, extension, and education for citizens and the agriculture community, we are able to proactively create solutions to water-related issues like drought and its impact on food security."

The recipients introduced their projects during the 2014 fiscal year. Some of the recipients include:

Purdue University
With $999,438 of funding, they’ll look to “transform the process of designing and implementing agricultural drainage to include storage of water within the landscape for increased resilience of crop production on drained soil.”

Michigan State University
Using their $900,000 share, they’ll try to “develop and improve management strategies for water-, nutrient-,and climate-smart agriculture through the creation and dissemination of decision support tools for farmers and the evaluation of economic impact from these smart agriculture technologies and practices.”

University of California
Receiving $149,990, they will try and “develop a decision-support model to facilitate decision making pertaining to technology choices regarding to agricultural drainage water (ADW) and treated wastewater (TWW), as well as increase understanding of technology use implications.”

Requests for applications eligible for grants during the 2015 fiscal year were sent out in February and are due by July 16th, 2015.

Join the conversation and tell us what kind of project you would conduct if you were given funding to do so.

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