About the Program

Empowering Agriculture Together
The CropSWAP Program is designed to address significant challenges in agricultural sustainability within the service areas of the Regional Partners. Its primary mission is to mitigate the adverse effects of water resource constraints and the escalating costs that impact agricultural sustainability. To fulfill these objectives, the program is committed to assisting farmers in overcoming both technical and financial obstacles, empowering them to invest in efficiency improvements. This approach aims to enhance the sustainability of agriculture, promote responsible resource stewardship, and build resilience within the farming community.

Program History
In 2016, Rancho California Water District (Rancho Water) introduced a first-of-its-kind program to agricultural water users in its service area called CropSWAP – Sustainable Water for Agricultural Production. Designed to offer financial incentives to agricultural water users to transition from high-water-use crops to varieties with lower water requirements, the program aimed to alleviate the effects of challenging drought conditions and a declining local agricultural economy. Upon completion, the program provided nearly $4M in financial incentives for the transformation of hundreds of acres of irrigated agriculture, saving over 800 acre-feet of water per year, and helping struggling farmers to stay in business

Formed through collaboration between Regional Partners, including Rancho Water, Fallbrook Public Utilities District, Rainbow Municipal Water District, Valley Center Municipal Water District, and the City of Oceanside, the Regional CropSWAP Program (Regional Program) builds upon the successes of its predecessor. With a focus on enhancing efficiency for agricultural water users in western Riverside and northern San Diego Counties, the Regional Program offers financial assistance for both transitioning away from high-water-use crops and adopting agricultural best management practices (BMPs). Through implementation of the Regional Program, the partnering agencies aim to foster sustainable agricultural water use, support local farmers, and contribute to the long-term resilience of the agricultural communities in the region.

Regional Partners
Funding for the Regional Program comes from various sources, including the Regional Partners, contributions made by participating farmers, and collaborators such as the California Department of Water Resources. The Regional Partners will continue seeking additional funding for the Regional Program, ensuring its availability to farmers over the long term.