Washington, D.C. - Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet issued the following statement on the Administration's Action Plan to address long-term drought resilience. The plan was announced at a Water Summit held at the White House as part of World Water Day.
"In recent years, Colorado has experienced some of the worst drought conditions since the Dust Bowl era. These severe droughts are devastating for our farmers and ranchers and have severe consequences for our state's outdoor recreation and tourism. Colorado communities and water managers have advocated for some of the flexible water management strategies laid out in the Action Plan. We will work closely with them to move forward with these policies."
The Long-Term Drought Resilience Federal Action Plan sets drought resilience policy goals, directs specific drought resilience activities to be completed by Fiscal Year 2017, and establishes the National Drought Resilience Partnership (NDRP) as an interagency task force responsible for coordinating drought-resilience, response, and recovery activities.
The plan also calls for the use of existing water conservation programs, some of which were established in the 2014 Farm Bill, to improve irrigation efficiency. Bennet, a member of the Senate Agriculture, helped craft the 2014 Farm Bill that reauthorized drought relief programs to help farmers, ranchers, and small businesses wrestling with persistent drought. He has also worked with Colorado water groups in support of flexible and coordinated water management strategies.