Responding to Drought in Marin
We are experiencing the most intense drought in recorded history.
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 2021, MALT launched an emergency Drought Resilience & Water Security (DRAWS) initiative to help all Marin County ranchers and farmers invest in drought-resilient practices.
DRAWS Initiative’s Impact to Date
- 13 fresh water springs re-developed
- 46 water storage tanks installed, totalling 169,300 gallons stored
- 20 water pumps connected, many of which are solar powered, and
- 61,350 feet of irrigation piping installed
Through this initiative, all farmers and ranchers in Marin County are eligible for grants up to $15,000 to design and implement long-term water infrastructure projects. It’s the support they needed to install new water catchment systems, revive old springs and better leverage the existing water resources available on their properties.
In April 2022, the MALT Board approved an additional $250,000 allocation in funding in order to have even more impact, bringing the total to $750,000 in funding for DRAWS since spring 2021. These timely investments are vital — not just for our local agricultural producers — but for our region’s public health, environment, and economy.
The DRAWS initiative supports MALT’s broader vision of a thriving agricultural community in a healthy and diverse natural environment.
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.
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.
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.
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.