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livestock water; cross fences for grazing management; and other practices to enhance wildlife and protect against wildfire. They emphasized that this assistance must be easily and locally accessible to tribal members.
We found that 88 drought-related federal programs were funded within the past ten years (Appendix B, Files G and H). We classed those programs into four broad program categories: (1) preparedness, including planning and mitigation; (2) information, including monitoring/prediction and research; (3) insurance; and (4) emergency response. Seven of these programs provide assistance for drought planning, 42 for drought mitigation, 22 for drought-related monitoring/prediction and research, and 47 for response. These numbers total more than 88 because some programs cover more than one facet of drought. For example, some of the mitigation programs also contain drought planning and response elements.
Planning. Many people who commented during all of our hearings recognized the importance of comprehensive long-term strategies that incorporate drought planning and plan implementation. We also heard often that drought should be a consideration in comprehensive water management planning. In addition, Jennifer Salisbury, the Cabinet Secretary of the New Mexico Energy, Minerals, & Natural Resources Department, urged us to consider forest resource stewardship programs as drought preparedness and mitigation programs.
The three federal entities with the greatest federal responsibilities when drought occurs are the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Title II of Public Law 102-250 (The Reclamation States Emergency Drought Relief Act of 1991) authorized the Bureau of Reclamation to prepare or participate in the preparation of cooperative drought contingency plans for the prevention or mitigation of adverse effects of drought conditions in consultation with other appropriate federal and state officials (of all 50 states and U.S. territories); tribes; and public, private, and local entities. Until very recently, these efforts were funded from emergency or supplemental funds. In its Fiscal Year 2000 budget, the Bureau of Reclamation requested $500,000 for the program. Congress appropriated $3,000,000, but restricted use of those funds primarily to the leasing of water. The Bureau also requested $500,000 in its 2001 budget.
Public Law 92-251 allows
the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to develop water resource plans for
states, tribes, and territories. The plans can cover any aspect of water
and water-related land issues, including drought preparedness if that is
what a state or tribe wants. Funding is limited to $500,000 annually for
each state or tribe. Individual studies (there may be more than one per
state or tribe per year) generally cost $25,000 to $75,000, an amount
that is split 50-50 between the state or tribe and the Corps. The
priorities of the nonfederal sponsor determine which aspect of water
management will be studied. Topics of studies conducted in recent years
include water supply and demand, water quality, environmental
conservation/restoration, wetlands evaluation, dam safety/failure, flood
damage, flood plain management, coastal zone management/protection, and
harbors/ports. This Corps program funded the preparatory work that
preceded the virtual drought exercise in Tarrant County, Texas (see
above, "Regional Entities").