Agricultural Emergency Drought Response Program

What is the 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.

Who can apply for a Loan or Grant?
Agricultural organizations located in areas where a disaster emergency has been proclaimed due to drought can apply.

How can the money be used?
Grant funds from the program can be used for the lease of augmentation water during drought years. Loan funds from the program can be used to purchase water rights for augmentation purposes and/or for the construction of structures necessary for the delivery of augmentation water back to the river.

Program funds can be used for engineering, attorney fees and other water acquisition administrative costs equal to 5% of the grant amount. This program does not provide loans or grants for general operational expenses, maintenance of facilities, research or individuals.

How do I apply for a Loan or Grant?
  1. Contact Taryn Finnessey, 303-866-3441 x3231, to determine if your organization qualifies for funding.
  2. If your organization does qualify for funding, submit a letter with a requested dollar amount and description of how those dollars will be spent to:

Colorado Water Conservation Board
Attn: Taryn Finnessey
1313 Sherman Street, Room 718
Denver, CO 80203
Fax: 303-866-4474

Application Deadline: Within three months after the end of any fiscal year during which a drought was declared.

What is the approval process after I have submitted an application?
  1. Requests are reviewed by the Director of the CWCB, the State Engineer, the Commissioner of Agriculture and the Executive Director of the Department of Natural Resources and are either approved or denied.
  2. After a request is approved, the CWCB writes a contract for the loan or grant.
  3. Funds are then available after an executed contract is in place.