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Drought in Action

Drought Relief, Recovery, and Support

A number of federal and state agencies provide direct relief and recovery support for drought impacts. While NIDIS does not provide monetary relief resources, it does provide information and services to mitigate drought.

The links on this page provide additional information about programs and resources available for drought mitigation, relief, and recovery.

How Does the USDA Use the Drought Monitor?

A 2019 fact sheet from the National Drought Mitigation Center summarizes U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) drought recovery programs, including those triggered by the U.S. Drought Monitor.

View the Fact Sheet

Short-Term Drought Relief and Recovery

U.S. Department of Agriculture logo

Disaster Assistance Programs

Source:
USDA/Farm Service Agency

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency provides financial and technical assistance to drought-affected areas through its Disaster Assistance Programs. This includes emergency assistance and loans for losses to crops, livestock, trees, and farm land.

    U.S. Department of Agriculture logo

    Environmental Quality Incentives Program

    Source:
    USDA/Natural Resources Conservation Service

    The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers to address natural resource concerns and deliver environmental benefits, such as improved water and air quality, conserved ground and surface water, increased soil health and reduced soil erosion and sedimentation, improved or created wildlife habitat, and mitigation against increasing weather volatility and improved drought resiliency.

    U.S. Department of Agriculture logo

    Emergency Watershed Protection Program

    Source:
    USDA/Natural Resources Conservation Service

    The Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program, a federal emergency recovery program, helps local communities recover after a natural disaster strikes. The program offers technical and financial assistance to help local communities relieve imminent threats to life and property caused by natural disasters that impair a watershed, including drought.

      U.S. Department of Agriculture logo

      Rural Utilities Service Water and Environmental Programs

      Source:
      USDA/Rural Development

      Through USDA’s Rural Utilities Service Water and Environmental Program, rural communities can obtain the technical assistance and financing necessary to develop drinking water and waste disposal systems. 

      Small Business Administration logo

      Economic Injury Disaster Loans

      Source:
      U.S. Small Business Administration

      The U.S. Small Business Administration can provide Economic Injury Disaster Loans to sell businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, and private nonprofit organizations that have suffered substantial economic injury and are in a declared disaster area

      Long-Term Drought Relief and Recovery

      U.S. Department of Agriculture logo

      Federal Crop Insurance Corporation

      Source:
      USDA/Risk Management Agency

      The USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) serves America’s agricultural producers through effective, market-based risk management tools to strengthen the economic stability of agricultural producers and rural communities. RMA manages the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation to provide innovative crop insurance products to America’s farmers and ranchers.

      U.S. Department of Agriculture logo

      Agricultural Conservation Easement Program

      Source:
      USDA/Natural Resources Conservation Service

      The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program helps landowners, land trusts, and other entities protect, restore, and enhance wetlands, grasslands, and working farms and ranches through conservation easements. Under the Agricultural Land Easements component, NRCS helps tribal nations, state and local governments, and non-governmental organizations protect working agricultural lands and limit non-agricultural uses of the land. Under the Wetlands Reserve Easements component, NRCS helps to restore, protect, and enhance enrolled wetlands.

      U.S. Department of Agriculture logo

      Conservation Technical Assistance Program

      Source:
      USDA/Natural Resources Conservation Service

      NRCS delivers conservation technical assistance through its voluntary Conservation Technical Assistance Program. Conservation technical assistance is the help NRCS and its partners provide to land users to address opportunities, concerns, and problems related to the use of natural resources and to help land users make sound natural resource management decisions on private, tribal, and other non-federal lands.

      Bureau of Reclamation logo

      WaterSMART Drought Response Program

      Source:
      DOI/Bureau of Reclamation

      The Bureau of Reclamation's WaterSMART Drought Response Program supports a proactive approach to drought by providing assistance to water managers to develop and update comprehensive drought plans and implement projects that will build long-term resiliency to drought. Program areas include contingency planning, resiliency projects, and emergency response actions.

      Bureau of Reclamation logo

      WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grants

      Source:
      DOI/Bureau of Reclamation

      Through WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grants, the Bureau of Reclamation provides 50/50 cost share funding to irrigation and water districts, tribal nations, states, and other entities with water or power delivery authority. Projects conserve and use water more efficiently; increase the production of hydropower; mitigate conflict risk in areas at a high risk of future water conflict; and accomplish other benefits that contribute to water supply reliability in the western United States. 

      Federal Emergency Management Agency logo

      Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) Program

      Source:
      DHS/Federal Emergency Management Agency

      FEMA’s new pre-disaster mitigation program, BRIC, supports states, local communities, tribal nations, and territories as they undertake hazard mitigation projects, reducing the risks they face from disasters and natural hazards. Eligible planning activities include integrating information from mitigation plans, specifically risk assessment or mitigation strategies, with other planning efforts, such as other long-term community planning initiatives around drought.

      U.S. Environmental Protection Agency logo

      WaterSense Program

      Source:
      U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

      The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency manages the WaterSense Program, which helps consumers identify water-efficient products, practices, and programs.

      Public Health Resources

      Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration logo

      Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

      Source:
      HHS/Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

      The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers assistance on disaster behavioral health and economic impacts of drought. This includes a disaster distress helpline.