Coalition of Western Agricultural Organizations Addresses the Need for Drought Funding
IRVINE, CA - Shortly following the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act, the Western Agriculture Coalition sent a letter to the United States Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton regarding the immediate implementation of drought funding.
"We write today to encourage you, as a first step, to work with our organizations and members to quickly release a Notice of Funding Availability with guidance to water managers currently developing drought response proposals and quickly deploy that funding to address the most urgent needs," the letter stated.
The Western Agricultural Coalition went on to offer its support, assistance, and counsel for the implementation of drought funding, which would benefit agricultural water users across the western U.S. and boost the agricultural economy, explained the letter.
Some of the coalition's key principles include:
- The Bureau of Reclamation should quickly release a Notice of Funding Availability with guidance to water managers currently developing drought response proposals and urgently deploy that funding to address the most critical needs
- As the Bureau of Reclamation develops a plan to deploy drought funding, they should work with local water managers, set goals focused on driving the voluntary participation needed, and keep the process, selection criteria, and any necessary agreements simple and transparent
- Any program designed to temporarily reduce agricultural water use must recognize the value of lost production, the extended impact on the rural community, and the cost of developing incremental new water supplies. It is also important to avoid any actions that result in permanent disruptions to our long-term capacity to produce the food and fiber that is relied upon in the U.S. and across the globe
- Agriculture should not be the only sector expected to reduce water use for the benefit of river systems. Urban planners and water users must also seriously address growth and reduce overall use or diversions to protect these systems
To read the letter in its entirety, click here.
As more updates on drought funding become available, AndNowUKnow will report.