Emergency Water Assistance

Emergency Management

Emergency Water Assistance to drought distressed areas or areas with a contaminated water suppy


Administering Agency:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) 


Operations & Readiness Branch,  Albuquerque District, (505) 342-3686

(24-hour emergency number)


Public Law 84-99, as amended

Assistance Available:

USACE is authorized to transport emergency supplies of clean drinking water for human consumption to any locality designated as a drought distressed area or which has a contaminated water supply. Assistance will only be to meet minimum public health and welfare requirements. 

Form of Assistance:

Emergency supply of clean drinking water for human consumption, and construction of wells (at state/tribal/local expense) if not commercially possible. Transportation of water normally provided by tanker trucks or small diameter pipelines. 


Any locality faced with a threat to public health and welfare from a contaminated source or drought situation affecting the water system 

Qualifying Requirements:

  • Water distribution system may be publicly or privately owned.
  • State/tribal/local governments must make full use of their own resources, including the National Guard.
  • Requests for assistance to the Corps must be initiated by the Governor or his/her authorized representative.
  • The impacted area must have been declared a "drought distressed area" by the Governor and Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works.
  • A permanent solution is being actively pursued at the local level


  • USACE assistance is supplemental to state and local efforts.
  • Permanent restoration of water supply is a local responsibility.
  • Applicants must furnish lands, easements, and right-of-way; make necessary relocations; and hold the U.S. free from damages.
  • Purchase and storage costs are not eligible for Corps assistance


Application for program assistance will be made to USACE
District, but assistance is subject to approval at higher level. 


Assistance is limited to work which is the most economical means of furnishing a temporary drinking water supply. Water will not be furnished for commercial processes. However, drinking water can be provided for employees, on-site customers, and preparation of retail meals. Water is provided only for human consumption, not for livestock.