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Water Hole water supply in drought


NDSU Extension develops and updates resources to help farmers and ranchers cope with drought conditions. Contact your NDSU Extension county office if you have questions or want additional information.

Learn more about dealing with farm & ranch stress


There are a number of government programs available to provide relief to ag producers impacted by the drought.

Learn more about drought relief programs




from Adnan Akyuz, Ph.D State Climatologist

Sept. 16, 2021

In Summary:

  • Based on the DM map published this morning, 2% of the state is still under an Exceptional Drought category. However, it is a 2% improvement compared to last week. (Slide 9).
  • Based on the same map, 99.6% of the state is in drought. Ninety-two percent of the state is in at least a Severe Drought category, and 60% of the state is in an Extreme Drought category (Slide 9).
  • This week, the Drought Severity and Coverage Index (DSCI) value is 363, which is a four-point decrease compared to last week (Slide 10)
  • The estimated population in the drought area is 672,565.
  • Despite the improvement in the drought conditions this week due to recent rain, the current drought impact will linger long after the drought.
    • Based on the 6-month Standardized Precipitation Index ending in July, the current drought is the worst since 1936 (Slide 12).
    • Based on the 6-month Standardized Precipitation Index ending in April, March, and February the current drought is the worst drought on record since 1895 (Slide 12).
    • The 1988 drought impact on North Dakota’s economy was between five to ten billion dollars based on the National Centers for the Environmental Information (Slide 14)

See the full report (PowerPoint online) 

Video Playlist: Preparing for and Managing Drought on the Ranch