Drought Response Program

The Bureau of Reclamation's 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:

Documents

Contacts

For more information regarding the Drought Program, please contact the Program Coordinator, Sheri Looper at 303-445-2232 or slooper@usbr.gov. Or, you may contact the Drought contact in your region, as follows:

  • Interior Region 5: Missouri Basin & Interior Region 6: Arkansas-Rio Grande-Texas Gulf - Denis Kelsch, 406-247-7754
  • Interior Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin - Gary McRae, 801-524-3656
  • Interior Region 8: Lower Colorado Basin - Ken Isakson, 702-293-8537
  • Interior Region 9: Columbia-Pacific Northwest - Leah Meeks, 208-378-5025
  • Interior Region 10: California-Great Basin - Rain Emerson, 916-978-5215

Join the WaterSMART Mailing List

You may complete this form to receive WaterSMART program notification from the Bureau of Reclamation.

Announcements


  • Fiscal Year 2023 Drought Resiliency Projects Webinar

    On March 24, 2022, The Bureau of Reclamation published a funding opportunity for the WaterSMART Drought Response Program’s Drought Resiliency Projects (DRP). This funding opportunity supports the implementation of drought mitigation projects that will build long-term resilience to drought. Through this funding opportunity, Reclamation provides financial assistance for projects that, when implemented, will increase water supply reliability and improve water management.

    The Bureau of Reclamation hosted a webinar on Friday, April 8, 2022, to discuss eligible applicants, project types, and the evaluation criteria for the DRP funding opportunity. Click here to watch a recording of the live event. The funding opportunity is available on grants.gov (opportunity number R23AS00005). Applications are due by June 15, 2022, at 4 pm MDT.

    Download PowerPoint slides

    The DRP funding opportunity offers three funding groups: Funding Group I is up to $500,000 in federal cost-share for projects that can be completed in 2 years, Funding Group II is up to $2 million in federal cost-share for projects that can be completed in three years, and Funding Group III is up to $5 million in federal cost-share for projects that can be completed in 3 years. Federal cost-share is limited to 50% of total project costs. A 50 percent minimum recipient cost-share is required.

    If you have questions regarding applicant and project eligibility or the evaluation criteria, click here and select Drought Resiliency Projects Inquiry to schedule a time to talk with the program coordinators.

  • Reclamation Announces Funding Opportunity for Drought Resiliency

    The Bureau of Reclamation today announced a funding opportunity for WaterSMART: Drought Resiliency Projects. This program provides federal cost-share funds for entities to take a proactive approach to drought through building projects that increase water supply reliability and improve water management. Read More →

  • Reclamation approves an additional $17.5 million for drought resiliency projects

    The Bureau of Reclamation approved an additional $17.5 million in WaterSMART Drought Resiliency Project grants for ten more projects in the Western United States. These grants will help communities increase their ability to recover from droughts. This funding supplements the prior $20.5 million in WaterSMART grant funding that was announced in January 2022, for a $38 million total federal investment this year in improving drought resiliency in the West.  Read More →.

  • FY 2023 Drought Contingency Planning Funding Opportunity is now available

    The Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) has published a funding opportunity for the WaterSMART Drought Response Program’s Drought Contingency Planning Grants. This funding opportunity supports the development and update of drought contingency plans. Through this funding opportunity, Reclamation provides financial assistance for planning that, when implemented, will increase water reliability and improve water management through the use of expanded technologies and improved modeling capabilities. Applicants may request up to $200,000 for plans to be completed within two years. Generally, a 50 percent minimum recipient cost-share is required.

    The funding opportunity is available on grants.gov (opportunity number R22AS00178). Applications are due by April 14, 2022, at 4 pm MDT.

    Reclamation hosted a webinar on Thursday, February 24, 2022, to discuss eligible applicants, program requirements, and the evaluation criteria for the Drought Contingency Planning Grants funding opportunity. Click here to view a recording of the event.

    If you have questions regarding applicant and project eligibility, program requirements, or the evaluation criteria, click here and select Drought Contingency Inquiry/Technical Consultation Inquiry to schedule a time to talk with the program coordinators.

  • FY 2022 Drought Contingency Planning Funding Opportunity Webinar

    The Bureau of Reclamation hosted a webinar on February 24, 2022, to discuss eligible applicants and project types, program requirements, and the evaluation criteria for the FY22 Drought Contingency Planning Funding Opportunity. Click here to watch a recording of the webinar.

  • Reclamation approves $20.5 million to build drought resiliency in five states

    A western river running through the forested hillsThe Bureau of Reclamation is making its initial 2022 selection of 13 projects for $20.5 million in grants to build long-term drought resiliency. These projects will leverage more than $66.7 million in non-federal funding to complete projects in five states. Read More →.

  • Webinar on WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grants Drought Resiliency Projects, and Environmental Water Resources Projects

    The Bureau of Reclamation hosted a webinar on Friday, August 27, 2021, at 1 pm MDT to discuss eligible applicants and project types, program requirements, and the evaluation criteria for three recently announced Funding Opportunities: Water and Energy Efficiency Grants (WEEG), Drought Resiliency Projects (DRP), and Environmental Water Resources Projects (EWRP).

    Download PowerPoint slides

  • Reclamation invests in grants to increase water sustainability in the West

    A river running through the forest.Drought and the impacts of climate change are having a significant effect on the Western United States. These impacts include reductions to water resource needs of agriculture, cities and the environment. The three WaterSMART grant opportunities — Drought Resiliency Projects, Water and Energy Efficiency Grants and the new Environmental Water Resources Projects — will help communities throughout the West by increasing water supply sustainability and drought resiliency. Read More →.

Current Status

The FY22 Drought Contingency Planning Grants funding opportunity closed April 14, 2022. Applications are currently under review.

The FY23 Drought Resiliency Projects Grants funding opportunity opened March 24. Applications are due June 15, 2022.


Calendar

January 2022

  • Jan. 28: Fiscal year 2022 Drought Resiliency Projects funding opportunity recipients announced.

February 2022

  • Feb. 15: Fiscal year 2023 Drought Contingency Planning Grants funding opportunity opens. Applications are due April 14, 2022.

March 2022

Last Updated: April 15, 2022