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Executive order outlines National Drought Resilience Partnership responsibilites

USDA
USDA(AP)
Published: Oct. 24, 2020 at 3:47 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WIBW) - A new executive order outlines the new responsibilities of the National Drought Resilience Partnership.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the National Drought Resilience Partnership staff gave an overview of its role under the Presidential Executive Order that was issued on Oct. 13 on Modernizing America’s Water Resource Management and Water Infrastructure at the National Integrated Drought Information System Executive Council fall meeting.

According to the USDA, the NDRP was established in 2016 and is an interagency task force responsible for enhancing coordination of federal drought resilience policies and monitoring the implementation of the activities and goals set out in the Presidential Memorandum establishing the partnership. It said under the EO, the NDRP will begin the “Priority Actions Supporting Long Term Drought Resilience” document that was issued on July 31, 2019.

The USDA said the EO also established the Water Subcabinet as an interagency Water Policy Committee of federal leaders promoting efficient and effective coordination of federal agencies engaged in water-related matters and directs them to work together, including with drought resilience.

“Our agencies have been working together for years to address water concerns, including drought,” said Bill Northey, Under Secretary of Farm Production and Conservation at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and First Co-Chair of the NDRP. “These partnerships are a large part of how we can protect our food and water supply and build resilience on our farms and ranches and in our communities and businesses.”

“The Trump administration is taking unprecedented steps at the federal level to coordinate and empower states, tribes, local communities, and water users to promote drought preparedness and resiliency and ensure reliable water supply throughout the West,” said Dr. Tim Petty, Assistant Secretary for Water and Science at the Department of the Interior and Second Co-Chair of the NDRP. “The Water Subcabinet and the NDRP will focus on the needs of the American communities as they prepare, service, and recover from drought.”

According to the USDA, the EO directed the Subcabinet to enter a report within 120 days recommending actions to address a number of water-related issues, identify a recommended lead agency and other relevant agencies and set out agency milestones for fiscal years 2021-2025. It said among the recommendations to be included in the report will be actions to implement the NDRP’s “Priority Actions Supporting Long Term Drought Resilience” document.

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