Livestock assistance program offers higher cost share

A change to state law is enabling the State Water Commission to increase its cost participation in the Drought Disaster Livestock Water Supply Assistance Program.

North Dakota House Bill 1085, relating to the program, was signed by Gov. Doug Burgum and became effective March 8. The bill amended existing law to have cost-share dollar amounts removed from Century Code, since they already exist in Administrative Code. The water commission reports this will allow it to be more responsive to needed changes in the future, particularly during emergency drought conditions.

As a result, cost-share amounts will now increase from $3,500 to $4,500 per project, as provided for in Administrative Code.

Any program applications received after March 8, 2019, will be eligible for the new cost-share amount. However, the new funding amount will not be retroactive for previously approved projects.

The program provides 50 percent cost-share assistance, of up to $4,500 per project, with a maximum of three projects per applicant. The program is for eligible livestock producers in designated counties experiencing drought-related impacts to their livestock operations.

Since the reactivation of the program in 2017, total funding of about $2 million has been allocated, and funding has been approved for 625 projects involving 447 applicants. Currently, funding remains available for producers with eligible projects.

Eligible items include new water wells, rural water system connections, pipeline extensions and pasture taps, and associated works, labor, materials and equipment rentals to develop new water supply projects.

For additional details about the program, visit the State Water Commission’s website at www.swc.nd.gov and scroll down to “Drought Disaster Livestock Water Supply Project Assistance Program.” For specific questions about program eligibility, call 328-4989 or email swclivestock@nd.gov.

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