Department of Ecology News Release - November 30, 2023

Ecology offering $1.8 million to Washington communities for drought planning, preparedness

Many watersheds throughout the state suffered from low streamflows this summer as our fourth widespread drought in nine years took its toll. As droughts become more frequent, communities are being encouraged to prepare for a drier future. Ecology is offering $1.8 million in Drought Planning and Preparedness Grants to help them develop drought resilience. Photo courtesy of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. 


To help Washington communities prepare for a drier future, Ecology will offer $1.8 million in grants to increase local drought preparedness.

Current climate models, and recent history, suggest a drought almost every other year.

The challenges associated with drought are expected to grow in the years ahead due to warming temperatures – which will reduce winter snowpack and accelerate spring runoff, leading to drier summers across much of the state.

“The climate is changing and we’re seeing very real impacts, not only on our current water supplies, but on our state’s future water security,” said Ria Berns, Ecology’s Water Resources program manager. “It’s time to invest in helping our local communities prepare for and deal with the impacts of a changing climate – and help them build water security for generations to come.”

The grant funding will support communities developing drought preparedness plans aimed at increasing drought resiliency and water supply security. These plans will identify the actions, costs, and timeframes a local community must deal with to increase its water supply security.

Ecology will begin accepting applications Jan. 16, 2024, with plans to issue the grants by next summer.

Those eligible to apply for the grants include, county or city governmental agencies, federally-recognized tribes, public utility districts, water and sewer districts and conservation districts.

There are also plans to host an online applicant workshop Jan.9. A recording of the workshop will be made available for those who are unable to attend. For more information or to sign up for the applicant workshop visit our drought planning and preparation grants webpage.

Contact information

Jimmy Norris
Communications Manager