Coping with Drought: Federal Funding for Water Utilities, Agencies

NOAA Climate Program Office makes funding available to better understand and respond to drought.

National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) is seeking proposals through the Coping with Drought grant program.

During Fiscal Year 2020, research focuses include improving understanding and use of (1) drought indicators, thresholds and triggers, and (2) drought impact reporting to inform more deliberate and expanded decision-making to prepare for and respond to drought.

About $13 million will be available for an estimated 90 new awards pending budget appropriations. Most awards are will likely be between $50,000 and $300,000 per year with exceptions for larger awards, unless otherwise noted.

Preference will be given to proposals that focus on industry and economic sectors beyond agriculture. Examples are tourism and recreation, navigation, water utilities, manufacturing, ecosystem services, public health.

For the purposes of this funding competition, drought indicators represent the variables or parameters used to describe drought conditions (e.g., precipitation, temperature, streamflow, groundwater or reservoir levels, soil moisture, snowpack). Triggers represent actions taken at specific thresholds defined for those indicators guiding drought recognition and response (e.g., water restrictions, burn bans, activate state drought task force).

Download the Coping with Drought program sheet. Other Climate Program Office funding opportunities are listed online.


  • An informational webinar is scheduled for August 6, 2019 at 12:00 pm Mountain Time. Participation is optional. Register using this link.
  • Letters of intent (LOIs) are due by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on August 23, 2019.


Full applications for all competitions must be received by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on October 28, 2019.

A dry marina at Huntingdon Lake near Fresno, California in 2014. Photo credit Mark Boster / L.A. Times

A dry marina at Huntingdon Lake near Fresno, California in 2014. Photo credit Mark Boster / L.A. Times