Interior Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Tim Petty Named Co-Chair of National Drought Resilience Partnership

Last edited 06/05/2020

Date: Friday, June 5, 2020

WASHINGTON -Today, the Department of the Interior announced that Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Timothy Petty, Ph.D., is the new co-chair of the National Drought Resilience Partnership (NDRP), an inter agency task force that enhances Federal drought resilience coordination. In line with the two-year rotational co-chair schedule of the NDRP, Dr. Petty succeeds Environmental Protection Agency Assistant Administrator for Water David Ross as the second co-chair, and will serve alongside U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey, who serves as the permanent first co-chair of the NDRP.

“This inter agency task force has an incredible opportunity to coordinate Federal drought resilience policies, programs, research, forecasting, data, and technology to enhance community drought preparedness and response,” said Assistant Secretary Petty. “The NDRP members represent the full spectrum of science, water management, and disaster response. Collectively we work with states, local communities, tribes, even on the farm and in the home, to secure reliable water supplies when times are good and maximize water supplies when times are tough for millions of farms and families across the country. As Federal agencies, we have a responsibility to ensure our state, federal and tribal partners have the resources necessary to prepare, survive, and recover from a natural disaster like drought.”

Assistant Secretary Petty oversees the US Geological Survey and the Bureau of Reclamation, and has been integral in coordinating the fulfillment of the priorities outlined in the Presidential Memorandum Promoting Reliable Supply Delivery of Water in the West.

“A robust federal partnership is critical to our nation’s drought resiliency and response. By working closely with the Department of the Interior and our other NDRP partners, we will continue to ensure that America’s farmers and ranchers are able to prepare for and overcome adverse conditions such as drought,” said Under Secretary Northey.

The NDRP recognizes the primacy of states, regions, tribes, and local water users in building their resilience to drought and provides a lasting platform that enables locally and regionally driven priorities and needs to guide coordinated Federal Government activities.

Through ongoing engagement, the NDRP works to identify effective approaches for building long-term drought resilience. The NDRP is directed to focus efforts to achieve drought resilience through: 1) data collection and integration; 2) communicating drought risk to critical infrastructure; 3) drought planning and capacity building; 4) coordination of federal drought activity; 5) market-based approaches for infrastructure and efficiency; and 6) innovative water use, efficiency, and technology.

In 2019, the NDRP announced Priority Actions supporting long-term drought resilience. This document outlines the ways in which federal agencies support state, tribal and local efforts to protect the security of our food supply, the integrity of critical infrastructure, the resilience of our economy, and the health and safety of our people and ecosystems.

“Through strong federal leadership and stakeholder collaboration, the NDRP has made meaningful progress in assessing water resource challenges and promoting solutions,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water David Ross. “The EPA looks forward to continuing this progress in collaboration with the leadership of the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.”

The NDRP leverages existing federal investments including the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), the development of a National Soil Moisture Network, and the DOI Bureau of Reclamation/USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service partnership, to improve agricultural water use efficiencies.

“Drought preparation is an important part of planning for improved resilience,” said Assistant Secretary for the Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Daniel R Simmons. “The collaborative effort from a range of federal agencies in the NDRP ensures an all-encompassing approach to long-term drought planning that will address a wide range of potential impacts.”

The NDRP links information such as monitoring, forecasts, outlooks, and early warnings with long-term drought resilience strategies in critical sectors such as agriculture, municipal water systems, energy, recreation, and manufacturing.

“NOAA is looking forward to Dr. Petty’s leadership,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Deputy NOAA Administrator retired Rear Admiral Tim Gallaudet. “He’s been a key partner in NOAA's work implementing the Presidential Memorandum on Promoting the Reliable Supply and Delivery of Water in the West. He has been especially supportive of NOAA's role in advancing water prediction through improvements to our National Water Model.”

Learn more about Assistant Secretary Petty here


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