Thursday, September 15, 9:00 a.m., Room 152, State Capitol
CLICK HERE to see the agenda
CLICK HERE for a link to watch the meeting online
About the Montana Governor's Drought and
Water Supply Advisory Committee
The Governor's Drought Advisory Committee was established by an act of the Montana State Legislature, MCA Sec. 2-15-3308 Drought Advisory Committee, in 1991 following the drought years of the late 1980s, including the highly publicized Yellowstone National Park wildfire year of 1988. The rationale behind the initiative to create a state drought advisory committee was that if state, local and federal officials who monitor water supply and moisture conditions can be brought together on a regular basis and ahead of the seasons when impacts are most likely to occur to Montana's economy and her natural resources, advance measures can be taken to lessen the degree of those impacts.
HB0059: An Act revising the title and duties of the Drought Advisory Committee to include analysis of water supplies and flooding; amending Section 2-15-3308, MCA; and providing an immediate effective date.
63rd Legislature amended Section 2-15-3308, MCA.
The drought advisory committee serves as a clearinghouse for the sharing of water supply and moisture conditions on a monthly basis among state and local agency officials with responsibility to manage natural resources and support constituents most likely affected by drought. The drought statute provides guidance on the membership of the committee and its responsibilities, including development of a state drought plan which specifies actions to be taken that correspond with the state of current and expected conditions. In its monthly assessment of conditions, the committee considers various scientific indicators that quantify and forecast precipitation, mountain snowpack, streamflow, soil moisture, reservoir contents and agricultural and livestock production. The committee also provides planning support and information sharing with watershed groups and county drought committees through this Internet website and staff contact.
State voting member agencies include the Governor's Office, DNRC, DEQ, FWP, Agriculture, Livestock, Commerce and Disaster Services. Federal reporting partners include the Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Geological Survey, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Agricultural Statistics Service and the National Weather Service. Other reporters include the multi-agency Northern Rockies Coordination Center for fire conditions, Montana Tech's Groundwater Information Center, Montana Climate Office, USDA Farm Service Agency, U.S. Congressional delegation representatives, U.S. Small Business Administration, Rural Development and Montana State University Extension Service. The committee chair is held by the Governor's representative, traditionally the Lieutenant Governor. The committee is required to meet in March and October at a minimum and monthly between those months as warranted by current and expected conditions.