Drought Response and Preparedness: Policy and Legislation [Updated June 4, 2021]   [open pdf - 511KB]

From the Document: "In recent years, large areas of the United States have been subject to drought. In addition to estimates of average annual losses from drought of $9 billion for agriculture, the effects have included dwindling water supplies for rural households and water use restrictions in urban areas. As of mid-2021, the western United States is in the midst of its most severe drought since the early 2000s, with some areas facing their driest years on record. Some experts have raised concerns about the availability of water supplies and the drought's impacts on forests and other flora and fauna. Congress and other policymakers are confronted with how to prepare for and monitor droughts, how to mitigate drought-related consequences, and who should bear responsibility for these actions. Historically, drought response and preparedness have been shaped by state and local actions, federal drought assistance, and federal dam operations, among other factors. [...] The need for and benefits of drought preparedness may be growing. [...] Broadly at issue are the overall federal role and the adequacy of current federal efforts to mitigate drought. Some in Congress may question federal programs' effectiveness in addressing drought, as well as the drought preparedness of federal facilities and emergency-response entities. Other potential areas of focus include the adequacy of--and accountability for--state and local drought planning and resilience efforts. Federal assistance in augmenting water supplies and constructing new water storage projects (including groundwater recharge) also may be of interest."

Report Number:
CRS In Focus, IF10702
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Media Type:
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