HOUSE BILL NO. 58
INTRODUCED BY Z. BROWN
BY REQUEST OF THE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION
AN ACT REVISING THE DUTIES OF THE DROUGHT AND WATER SUPPLY ADVISORY COMMITTEE; REVISING THE COMMITTEE'S STATE PLAN REQUIREMENTS; REQUIRING COORDINATION AND COMMUNICATION WITH STATE, LOCAL, TRIBAL, AND FEDERAL ENTITIES; REVISING COMMITTEE REPORTING REQUIREMENTS; AND AMENDING SECTION 2-15-3308, MCA.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
"2-15-3308. Drought and water supply advisory committee. (1) There is a drought and water supply advisory committee in the department of natural resources and conservation.
(2) The drought and water supply advisory committee is chaired by a representative of the governor and consists of representatives of the departments of natural resources and conservation; agriculture; commerce; fish, wildlife, and parks; military affairs; environmental quality; and livestock. The governor's representative must be appointed by the governor, and the representative of each department must be appointed by the head of that department. Additional, nonvoting members who represent federal and local government agencies and public and private interests affected by drought, or flooding, or water supply may also be appointed by the governor.
(3) The drought and water supply advisory committee shall:
(a) with the approval of the governor, develop and implement a state plan that considers drought and flooding drought and flooding, mitigation, and response;
(b) review and report drought and water supply monitoring information to the public;
(c) coordinate timely drought and flooding impact assessments and maintain regular communication with the United States drought monitor, the national drought mitigation center, the division of disaster and emergency services, the national weather service, and other appropriate local, state, tribal, and federal partners;
(d) identify areas of the state with a high probability of drought or flooding and target reporting and assistance efforts to those areas in coordination with local, state, tribal, and federal agencies;
(e) upon request, assist in organizing local advisory committees for the areas identified under subsection (3)(d);
(f) request state agency staff to provide technical assistance to local advisory committees; and
(g) promote ideas and activities for groups and individuals to consider that may reduce drought or flooding vulnerability to drought or flooding and improve seasonal forecasting of water supply.
(4) The drought and water supply advisory committee shall meet, at a minimum, on or around October 15 and March 15 of each year to assess moisture conditions and forecasts and, as appropriate, begin preparations for drought or flood mitigation.
(5) By April 15 of each year, the drought and water supply advisory committee shall submit a report to the governor describing governor's office that, to the extent possible, describes the potential for drought or flooding in the coming year, describes the current water supply conditions of the state, taking into consideration winter precipitation, and provides an assessment of the cumulative water supply status. If the potential for drought or flooding merits additional activity by the drought and water supply advisory committee, the report must also describe:
(a) activities to be taken by the drought and water supply advisory committee for informing the public about the potential impacts of drought or flooding;
(b) a schedule for completing activities;
(c) geographic areas for which the creation of local drought and water supply advisory committees will be suggested to local governments and citizens; and
(d) requests for the use of any available state resources that may be necessary to prevent or minimize drought or flood impacts.
(6) By July 1 of each year, the drought and water supply advisory committee shall submit a report to the governor's office evaluating the potential for drought for the remainder of the calendar year. If the report identifies a potential for drought that is likely to cause adverse impacts to human health and safety, environmental quality, or both, the committee shall notify the division of disaster and emergency services and county commissioners, tribal governments, conservation districts, and local watershed groups in the geographic location potentially impacted by drought and the types of impacts likely to occur.
(6)(7) Nothing in this section is intended to remove or interfere with the duties and responsibilities of the governor or the division of disaster and emergency services for disaster coordination and emergency response, as provided in Title 10, chapter 3, part 1. The duties and responsibilities of the drought and water supply advisory committee supplement and are consistent with those of the division of disaster and emergency services for drought or flood planning, preparation, coordination, and mitigation."
Section 2. Notification to tribal governments. The secretary of state shall send a copy of [this act] to each tribal government located on the seven Montana reservations and to the Little Shell Chippewa tribe.
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Prepared by Montana Legislative Services