Agricultural Emergency Drought Response Program

The Program provides up to $1 million annually, in the form of loans or grants, for emergency drought-related water augmentation purposes to Colorado’s agricultural water users.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Who can apply?
Agricultural organizations (augmentation companies, ditch and reservoir companies, conservancy districts, conservation districts) within counties, pursuant to Federal or state law, where an emergency drought designation or a disaster emergency has been proclaimed. A current map of drought-activated counties can be found on the United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency website.
To check if your county is eligible, look at the "Maps of All Secretarial Disaster Designations PDF File Format by Crop Year" on the Agriculture Farm Service Agency website and select the current year. 
Primary and contiguous counties (marked in red and orange) on the current year map are eligible to apply for funding by January 1st of the following year. For example, a county within Colorado marked as red or orange on the 2023 Secretarial Drought Designation - All Drought Map is eligible to apply for funding by January 1, 2024.
How can the money be used?

The Program provides grant funds primarily for the cost of the Emergency Augmentation water but also can provide for engineering, attorney fees and other water acquisition administrative costs, not to exceed  5% of the grant amount. If the source of Emergency Augmentation water is through supplemental groundwater pumping the additional operational costs of pumping are eligible for funding through the Program. The Program does not provide grants for general operational expenses, maintenance or rehabilitation of facilities, or research projects. The Program does not provide funding for any anticipated costs associated with Emergency Augmentation, only for verified costs incurred during a previous irrigation season.

How can I apply?

1. Review Grant Guidelines and follow application procedure

2. Contact Nora Flynn with questions about the program (nora.flynn@state.co.us)

What is the approval process after I have submitted an application?

Upon staff review, all applications will be submitted with a recommendation to a Program Management Committee composed of the Director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board, the State Engineer, the Executive Director of the Department of Natural Resources, and the Commissioner of Agriculture, or a committee member’s designee. The Program Management Committee will review the application materials and staff recommendation and make a final decision regarding each submitted application.

Point of Contact

Nora Flynn
303-866-3441 x3215

Application Deadline

April 15, 2024

View Grant Application Guidelines