Building drought resilience starts with planning

In Montana, drought is a given. No matter what we do for work or with our free time, drought affects us all. It is insidious by nature, often creeping in slowly with imperceptible signals. And, once gaining a foothold, it has far-reaching, cascading impacts on our landscapes, livelihoods, and even our health. To better cope with drought, we must adapt and build resilience into our man-made and natural systems, which means we need strategic actions to boost our preparedness and response. In other words: we need a plan.

The Montana Drought Management Plan provides a comprehensive management framework to improve drought preparedness at all phases of the drought cycle – before, during, and after drought – and it outlines a pathway to create a more drought resilience Montana in the years to come.

Published in December, 2023, the Plan is the product of a collaborative and inclusive three-year planning effort. Led by DNRC in coordination with the Drought and Water Supply Advisory Committee, convened for this purpose as the Drought Task Force, the planning process encompassed the diverse perspectives of hundreds of water-users from across the state, as well as a broad range of support from agency partners, private consultants, technical advisors, and meeting facilitators.

The draft Montana Drought Management Plan was released for public comment during a 45-day period from June 19 through August 4, 2023. DNRC received forty-two comments through a webform and 10 letters through email. Commenters offered many meaningful suggestions that were incorporated into the final plan.


We'll be updating this website to share upcoming engagement opportunities and progress reports as we transition into implementation of the Drought Management Plan. To get this information delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter. To subscribe, enter your email address here. Under the DNRC Water News category, select "Drought Plan Updates and Info," then scroll down to submit your choice.