State funding approved to help ranchers in drought areas
The State Water Commission voted Thursday to activate a drought disaster program to help North Dakota ranchers get water to livestock in extremely dry parts of the state.
The program would provide $250,000 in state dollars to help fund water supply projects such as new wells or hookups to water pipelines to help livestock producers in areas with extreme drought.
Burgum said he’s been meeting with leaders of state and federal agencies to address the severe drought conditions facing North Dakota, including taking steps toward establishing a joint information center to coordinate state resources.
“This is one important piece of a much broader statewide response that we’re working on,” Burgum said.
Drought conditions continue to worsen in North Dakota, with 8 percent of the state listed in extreme drought.
“A lot of cattle are being sold," said Water Commissioner George Nodland of Dickinson.
"It’s sad.” Under the drought disaster livestock water supply program, the state will fund up to half of a water supply project, such as rural water system connections, pipeline extensions, pasture taps, stock water tanks and other projects, for producers in the affected counties.
The maximum available is $3,500 per project, with each producer eligible for up to three projects.
More information, including a map of the counties included in the program, is expected to be available Friday and posted to the State Water Commission website, swc.nd.gov.