HOOD RIVER — On June 29, Farmers Conservation Alliance (FCA), a nonprofit dedicated to modernizing irrigation infrastructure in the American West, announced a $200,000 grant from Google to support its work. Last year, Google supported FCA with a $120,000 grant that helped create a data management platform, enabling the organization to better communicate water savings, and efficiencies in real time. Now, the platform is complete, and this additional funding will help FCA organize data that help farmers and other end users meet their goals.
“The reality of ongoing drought conditions is helping drive investment in water infrastructure, and sharing project successes and valuable data will be key to making sure those investments deliver the right solutions and relief to communities across the West,” said Julie Davies O’Shea, FCA executive director.
Right now, more than 20% of land in western states is experiencing drought. Since 2014, FCA has been working to modernize aging irrigation infrastructure that serves more than 35,000 farmers and ranchers. Through this work, FCA can track water flow and availability, community benefits, environmental benefits, and even data on energy use and general infrastructure resiliency. With this new support from Google, FCA can share this information with agricultural water users so they are better informed to make impactful infrastructure changes and upgrades by modernizing their systems. The funding will also support FCA’s communications to irrigation districts, deploying district portals that will keep community partners up to date on project information that they can use to better manage their own operations and upgrades.