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AFRI – FAS Water Quantity and Quality (A1411)
Program Area Priority: The U.S. is committed to the proper management of agricultural practices and improved efficiency of agricultural water uses to protect water quality and increase water and food security, and improve resilience of agricultural and forest ecosystems to climate change (U.S. Global Water Strategy, 2017). USDA-NIFA will provide competitive support to improve water science, management and technologies, water conservation and water use efficiency; promote common data exchange formats and access to data for decision-making, improve forecasting and model water related systems, and promote technology adoption and behavior change by producers, land managers, and decision makers. Practically, USDA-NIFA seeks applications to:
a. Reduce the freshwater demand (both groundwater and surface water) for irrigation and the nutrient demand for maximum crop production by substituting the use of other technologies, management practices and/or other water sources (recycled wastewater, brackish groundwater, agricultural return flow and produced water from industry) while retaining appropriate soil health (managed salinity, adequate infiltration, proper application and use of soil amendments, such as fertilizers, manure and biochar) and eliminating accelerated erosion from farm fields, and;
b. Protect water quality of surface and groundwater systems through improved nutrient management, improved pesticide management, and reduced nutrient pesticide, pathogen, and contaminants of environmental concern (CEC) loads to surface or groundwater.