Responding to Drought in Marin

From 2019-2022, California experienced its worst drought in recorded history.

The impact on our community was immense, especially to farmers and ranchers whose operations depend on this precious natural resource. Securing and maintaining reliable, clean water for farms and ranches is imperative to the success of the local agricultural economy in Marin County.

As our changing climate creates unpredictable conditions, MALT is collaborating with several local organizations on drought relief efforts. In April of 2021, MALT launched an emergency six-month Drought Resilience & Water Security (DRAWS) initiative to help all Marin County ranchers and farmers invest in drought-resilient practices.

Since its launch, the DRAWS initiative committed $916,000 to 75 water infrastructure projects to projects centered around long-term water security. MALT staff assisted farmers and ranchers in planning, designing and implementing conservation practices specific to water development and security.

The DRAWS initiative supported MALT’s broader vision of a thriving agricultural community in a healthy and diverse natural environment.

Initiative Impact

Prospering Agriculture

By helping to increase water security for local farms and ranches, the DRAWS initiative helped Marin County agricultural businesses continue production and stay economically viable during drought conditions. Economic security is crucial for both our local and regional food systems, as many of our producers provide sustainably-produced foods and fibers to communities throughout the Bay Area and beyond.

Thriving Community

Marin’s prospering agricultural economy creates the foundation for a thriving community. The DRAWS initiative helped all Marin farmers and ranchers continue to produce necessary foods and fibers for our community, protecting jobs, and livelihoods amid stressful times.

Ecological Health

Projects supported by the DRAWS initiative provided innumerable ecological benefits. Increasing access to water allowed for greater distribution of livestock on grazing pastures, helped to safeguard creeks and streams and assisted in climate-beneficial rotational grazing practices, which ensured healthy plant growth throughout the year. 

Climate Resiliency

In a changing and unpredictable climate, the DRAWS initiative supported long-term water solutions to help farmers and ranchers become more resilient to the impacts of climate change.