The role of Maine's Drought Task Force (Task Force) is to facilitate communications and situational awareness of drought, develop and communicate a unified assessment of the situation, and provide recommendations on potential responses to the Office of the Governor or other relevant organizations.
The Task Force meets when abnormally dry conditions become elevated in Maine and Task Force Chairs from MEMA and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) call for activation. Monthly meetings are organized by MEMA to share and organize drought monitoring data and identify action items to reduce the impacts of drought in Maine. These elements are provided in a concise report identifying observations from multiple affiliated agencies and organizations. For conditions where abnormally dry conditions enter the state but do not quickly worsen, the Task Force undergoes a preliminary activation and relies on email communication to compile the report. Past Task Force reports are made publicly available below.
During severe, damaging drought, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture issues a disaster declaration to help farmers recover from crop damages and losses. Under this declaration the Small Business Administration issues the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and notifies eligible entities impacted by this disaster. Applicants may apply online via the Small Business Administration's secure website at disasterloanassistance.sba.gov. The working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits.
- 09/08/2022: Drought Task Force Report (pdf)
- 08/04/2022: Drought Task Force Report (pdf)
- 07/11/2022: Drought Task Force Report (pdf)
- No meetings scheduled at this time
Drought Task Force Membership
Current Task Force partners include:
- USGS, New England Water Science Center, Maine Office (co-chair)
- Maine Emergency Management Agency (co-chair)
- National Weather Service Gray and Caribou offices
- Maine Geological Survey
- Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry
- Department of Health and Human Services
- Maine Public Utilities Commission
- Maine Rural Water Association
- Maine Water Utilities Association
- Maine Department of Environmental Protection
- U.S. Department of Agriculture
- County Emergency Management Agencies impacted by the drought