Today, the National Drought Resilience Partnership (NDRP), a cross-agency Federal partnership, released its first progress report. As of August 1, moderate to exceptional drought is impacting 20% of the United States and nearly 92.9 million people. In 2016, Secretary Vilsack issued Secretarial Drought Designations for all the counties in the Lake Tahoe Basin. The report outlines the work of the Federal partnership, such as co-investing $47 million through USDA and DOI to improve the water efficiency of farms an irrigation districts, and identifying rural communities most at risk for compromised drinking-water supplies as a result of drought, support of the National Rural Water Association (NRWA) and Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP), providing technical assistance to rural communities and the water and wastewater utilities that serve them, including rural water services in California and Nevada.

“RCAP’s partnership with federal, state and local agencies is integral to our to mission to improve the quality of life in rural communities.  The impacts of drought weigh heavily on small communities that typically have limited resources and few if any alternative water supplies.  Ensuring that these small communities are prepared for drought and can respond with sensible and economically feasible measures is an important part of the work that we accomplish in rural America,” says Robert Stewart, Executive Director of the Rural Community Assistance Partnership.