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Financial Assistance through the Bureau of Reclamation for Drought Relief to Public Water Supplies

On June 16, 2006, President Bush signed a bill that reauthorized the Reclamation States Emergency Drought Relief Act of 1991 (43 U.S.C. § 2214 (c)).  The reauthorization extends authority to the Bureau of Reclamation to provide financial assistance for temporary drought relief to State and Tribal Nations impacted by drought through the year 2010.  The bill also appropriated money to be expended for the Fiscal Year 2006.  In order for states to be eligible for drought assistance under the program, the Governor had to send a letter to the Bureau of Reclamation requesting assistance.  In July 2006, Governor Henry sent the letter requesting drought assistance to the Bureau of Reclamation.

It is now up to water systems experiencing drought-related water shortages to submit proposals to the Bureau of Reclamation requesting assistance.  While there is a limited amount of money left for the (Federal) fiscal year 2006, the new fiscal year will start on October 1, 2006—and representatives of the Bureau of Reclamation have indicated that there may be more funding made available for temporary drought assistance in the new fiscal year. 

Funding is subject to availability.  Staff at the Bureau of Reclamation also indicated that proposals will be funded on a first come, first served basis and will also be prioritized based upon need. 

Attached are two documents from the Bureau of Reclamation that should help you prepare a proposal:  1) the list of Forms of Assistance allowed under the program; and 2) the Checklist of information that must be included in proposals.

Send the letter requesting drought assistance (by regular or electronic mail) directly to:

Bureau of Reclamation
Great Plains Regional Office
Attention Rick DeVore GP-4600 (406) 247-7757

P.O. Box 36900
Billings, MT 59107-6900      

With copies sent to:

Bureau of Reclamation
Oklahoma-Texas Area Office
5316 HWY 290 W Suite-510
Austin, TX 78735

And to:

Justin Hodge, DWSRF, Water Quality
Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality
Water Quality Division
707 N. Robinson, P.O. 1677
Oklahoma City, OK 73101-1677
Phone: 405-702-8224
FAX:   405-702-8101

Reclamation States Emergency Drought Relief Act of 1991 - Reauthorized P. L. 109-234: Forms of Assistance

Reclamation States Emergency Drought Act of 1991: Checklist