Responding to Drought in Marin

California has entered its second year of intensifying drought conditions.

The impact on our community is 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 this year, 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.

The DRAWS initiative commits an additional $500,000 through our Stewardship Assistance Program to projects centered around long-term water security. MALT staff will assist farmers and ranchers in planning, designing and implementing conservation practices specific to water development and security.

The DRAWS initiative supports 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 helps 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 helps all Marin farmers and ranchers continue to produce necessary foods and fibers for our community, protecting jobs and livelihoods in these stressful times.

Ecological Health

Projects supported by the DRAWS initiative provide innumerable ecological benefits. Increasing access to water allows for greater distribution of livestock on grazing pastures, helps to safeguard creeks and streams and assists in climate-beneficial rotational grazing practices, helping to ensure healthy plant growth throughout the year. 

Climate Resiliency

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

Want to learn more about how MALT and its partners are helping local farmers and ranchers build water security?

Watch the video below with MALT CEO Thane Kreiner, Ph.D., John Taylor, owner and operator of BiValve Dairy, and Randi Black, PhD, dairy advisor at University of California Cooperative Extension, as they discuss the impact of intensifying drought conditions on local farms and ranches, MALT’s Drought Resilience & Water Security (DRAWS) initiative and the collective actions taken by community leaders and agriculturalists to build long-term drought resiliency.