USDA’s $146 million investment includes a project to focus on groundwater overuse and sustaining irrigated agriculture

October 15, 2021

Alleviating groundwater overuse and sustaining irrigated agriculture is the focus of a project included in recent funding announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA is investing $146 million in sustainable agricultural research projects aimed at improving resilient, climate-smart food and agricultural systems.

The investment funds 15 different projects. One project allocates $10 million for University of California researchers and their partners for work to alleviate groundwater overuse and sustain irrigated agriculture in the southwest United States.

The project will involve developing innovative education programs and novel extension programming to support sustainable groundwater and irrigated agricultural systems, create models (geophysical, hydrology, biophysical, and socioeconomic), develop climate change adaptation management strategies, and produce decision support tools.

This investment is made under the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (NIFA) Sustainable Agricultural Systems program. This program focuses on a broad base of needed research solutions from addressing labor challenges and promoting land stewardship to correcting climate change impacts in agriculture and critical needs in food and nutrition.

This investment is part the third installment of NIFA grants within its Agriculture and Food Research Initiative’s (AFRI) Sustainable Agricultural Systems program designed to improve plant and animal production and sustainability, and human and environmental health. These AFRI grants are available to eligible colleges, universities, and other research organizations.

Information about all 15 projects funded under the AFRI Sustainable Agriculture Systems program is available online.