Date: Thursday, June 2, 2022
WASHINGTON – The Biden-Harris Administration this week released the Drought Resilience Interagency Working Group’s (IWG) Summary Report outlining the actions taken to date to improve drought-stricken communities' longer-term resilience to drought through financial and technical assistance. Last month marked one year since the establishment of the Drought Resilience IWG as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s whole-of-government approach to confronting climate change. Download the Summary Report.
“The dangerous impacts of climate change and drought are being felt across America. Through the Drought Resilience Interagency Working Group and President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Biden-Harris administration is quickly ushering every resource available to drought-impacted communities to provide relief now, and make investments long into the future,” said Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland. “We remain committed to an all-of-government approach and collaboration with Tribes, irrigators, businesses and adjoining communities to address the impacts of the drought crisis and work together on long-term solutions.”
“Intense drought and climate change continue to threaten major economic drivers in rural communities, disrupt food systems and water supplies, endanger public health, jeopardize the integrity of critical infrastructure, and exacerbate wildfires and floods,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Through the IWG, collaboration and coordination among federal agencies has increased in an effort to more effectively deploy resources and support during these intense, drought-stricken times. We have also worked to improve and expand our disaster assistance programs to better help producers recover and build resiliency for those being impacted by drought.”
The Department of the Interior and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) co-chair the Drought Resilience IWG, which was created under the White House’s National Climate Task Force.
The Drought Resilience IWG agencies are working cooperatively in a whole-of-government manner, to address drought issues through existing programs and resources. There are many historic opportunities provided by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to provide critical funding to address water challenges, which includes drought. The Drought Resilience IWG will facilitate interagency coordination to effectivity deploy $13 billion in water-related investments, including $12.4 billion at the Interior Department (including investments outlined here) and $918 million at USDA.
Key actions since the Drought Resilience IWG creation include:
The Drought Resilience IWG is part of the Administration’s commitment to provide support for drought-stricken communities. It is focused on addressing the need to improve communities’ longer-term resilience to drought given the elongated and severe drought cycles that climate change is causing.
In addition to the Drought Resilience IWG, the Biden-Harris Administration revitalized the collaboration of the National Drought Resilience Partnership (NDRP). The NDRP, formed in 2013, leverages multiple federal agencies, including developing innovative science-driven actions to address water supply challenges.