Emergency Drought Commission Extends Deadline for Select Practices

By Kirsten Hollansworth, Public Engagement Specialist, ODAFF | 405.862.8496

OKLAHOMA CITY —The Emergency Drought Commission met on Tuesday and voted on several motions regarding the Emergency Drought Cost-Share Program. The deadline for practices related to water well drilling, pipeline, pumping plant and water facilities has been extended to December 31, 2024.

In a separate motion, the Emergency Drought Commission voted to maintain the initial June 30 deadline for pond clean practices. Producers who are unable to complete a pond clean out by the deadline will receive priority during the next application period for the emergency drought cost-share.

“While the deadline will remain in effect, districts will notify the producer,” said Director of Conservation Programs Tammy Sawatzky. “If they have not submitted receipts by the June 30 date, they will not be eligible for a reimbursement claim.”

State Climatologist Gary McManus provided a weather update and said El Niño provided drought relief for the state of Oklahoma.

“The combination of above normal temperatures and below normal perception will lead to more drought conditions across the state of Oklahoma,” McManus said. “Drought is fading considerably, but I am hesitant to say that this drought is over.”

The Emergency Drought Commission also heard updates from Oklahoma Forestry Services regarding wildfire preparedness and response.

“We are constantly watching weather conditions and outlooks by working closely with National Weather Service (NWS) to preposition resources and bring in additional outside resources,” said Director/State Forester Mark Goeller. “Minutes count. Hot spot notifications are a new implementation and fire warning can be out within a matter of minutes.”