On Thursday, the Washington Department of Ecology announced emergency drought grants to help farmers, local pulbic health agencies as well as threatened fish species. The $750,000 in grant funding was made available on July 28th, when Ecology adopted an emergency drought funding rule. That rule came two weeks after a July 14th emergency drought declaration emergency, which covered nearly the entire state of Washington.
Farmers and ranchers without irrigation east of the Cascades were among the first to feel the effects of the drought, with some reporting up to a 50% loss of wheat crops and difficulty finding feed for livestock.
In order to provide funding where it is most needed, Ecology will work with other state agencies to fund immediate emergencies. Funds will be provided to the Department of Health, the Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Washington State Conservation Commission to get help where it’s needed most quickly.
“Because this drought came on so late and so fast, we need to address critical needs as quickly as possible,” said Mary Verner, who manages the Water Resources program at Ecology. “By working through our sister agencies, we believe they can get help where it is needed right away.”
To learn more about the grants, or to find out if you qualify, check out the Department of Ecology’s Website.
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