Program Description

The Bureau of Reclamation's Drought Response Program supports a proactive approach to drought. It provides assistance to water users for drought contingency planning, including consideration of climate change information and to take actions through on-the-ground projects that will build long-term resiliency to drought.

Eligible entities will have the opportunity to participate in a competitive process to receive grant funding under either of the following two Drought programs:

  1. Drought Contingency Planning: Applicants may apply for up to $200,000 in federal funding (amount may vary depending on appropriations), with a %50 non-Federal cost share contribution required, to develop a drought contingency plan or to update an existing plan to meet the required elements described in the Drought Response Framework
  2. Drought Resiliency Projects: Applicants may apply for up to $300,000 in federal funding (amount may vary depending on appropriations with a 50% non-Federal cost share contribution required to fund projects that will help communities prepare for and respond to drought.

For more information on the Drought Response Program and access to the Drought Response Framework, please visit the program website.

General Program Requirements

Drought Contingency Planning

Eligible applicants include: States, tribes, irrigation districts, water districts, or other organizations with water or power delivery authority from either the 17 Reclamation States (Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Wyoming, Utah, and Washington) and Hawaii.

Eligible Projects: Proposals must be for the development of a new Drought Contingency Plan or an update to an existing plan. For more information on the contents of a Drought Plan please view the Framework on our website.

Drought Resiliency Projects

Eligible Applicants include: States, tribes, irrigation districts, water districts or other organizations with water or power delivery authority from the 17 Reclamation States (listed above), the American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands.

Eligible Projects: Reclamation will provide funding for projects that build long-term resilience to drought and reduce the need for emergency response actions. Drought resiliency can be defined as the capacity of a community to cope with and respond to drought. Reclamation will fund projects that will build resiliency to drought by:

  • Increasing the reliability of water supplies
  • Improving water management
  • Facilitating the voluntary sale, transfer, or exchange of water
  • Providing benefits for fish and wildlife and the environment.

Specific examples of eligible projects and ineligible projects will be listed in the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) on

Your Next Steps

The following information will lead you to the next steps to apply for this program.

Application Process

Detailed information on the next year's application submission process will be listed on the FY2016 FOA once it becomes available on The 2015 application could be submitted through the following mechanisms:

If the applicant chooses to submit an electronic application, it must be submitted through Reclamation encourages applicants to submit their applications for funding electronically through the grants application page. Applicant resource documents and a full set of instructions for registering with and completing and submitting applications online are available on the applicants page.

Hard copies may be submitted to either one of the following addresses. Under no circumstances will applications received through any other method (such as email or fax) be considered eligible for award.

By mail:

Bureau of Reclamation
Acquisition Operations Branch
Attn: Ms. Irene M. Hoiby
Mail Code: 84-27852
P.O. Box 25007
Denver, CO 80225

By express delivery/ mail services:

Bureau of Reclamation
Attn: Ms. Irene M. Hoiby
Mail Code: 84-27852
Denver Federal Center, Bldg. 56, Rm. 1000
6th Avenue and Kipling Street
Denver, CO 80225

Program Contact Information

Avra Morgan
Drought Response Program Coordinator

Additional Information

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number15.514
Current Method of Tribal EligibilityProgram not specific to American Indians and Alaska Natives, but they are eligible
Can the funding from the program be renewedNo
Funding TypeDiscretionary
Entities Eligible for Grant AssistanceFederally Recognized Tribes and Tribal Organizations, Other Tribal and Native Entities, Non-Tribal Entities
Matching Funds RequiredYes
Number of People Served by this Program (Approximate)The number of entities selected for funding depends on that year's appropriations. In FY2015 11 Drought Contingency Plans were selected for funding and 12 Drought Resiliency Projects were selected for funding.
Length of ProgramProgram in ongoing but projects must be completed within two years form the date of award
Recurring Base Funding for TribesNo
Do Tribes compete with other entities for funding from the program?Yes. Tribes compete with states, local governments , U.S. territories, and other non-tribal/non-native entities.
Tribes Funded by this ProgramFunding is allocated through a competitive process, the number of entities selected for funding depends on that year's appropriations. In FY2015 2 American Indian tribe were funded through the Drought Response Program

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