Drought information for improving preparedness in the Western States

Steinemann, Anne (2014) Drought information for improving preparedness in the Western States. Bulletin of the Amercian Meteorological Society, 95 (6). pp. 843-847.

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Abstract

Drought is common and costly, inflicting billions of dollars of damage annually across the United States. Early warning information, such as climate forecasts and hydrologic data, can help decision makers prepare for drought and reduce drought impacts. But what information do drought managers actually use and need?

A survey of state drought managers1 in the 19 Western Governors' Association (WGA) states investigated drought concerns and impacts, the use and value of drought plans, and the types of early warning information that could inform decisions and reduce drought damages.2 This article provides results and insights from the survey, with recommendations for improving information and drought preparedness.3

Overall, managers are highly concerned about droughts, and expect them to become more frequent and severe. Across the West, drought damages ranged from an estimated millions of dollars to billions of dollars per year per state. All managers said that better early warning information could help reduce drought costs, with an average reduction of 33%.4 This confluence of widespread droughts, a high level of concern, substantial economic damages, and the potential to reduce impacts points to the importance of effective and usable early warning information.

Item ID: 43983
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1520-0477
Funders: Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean (JISAO), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Projects and Grants: NOAA Cooperative Agreement No. NA17RJ1232
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2016 07:49
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0401 Atmospheric Sciences > 040107 Meteorology @ 50%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0401 Atmospheric Sciences > 040107 Meteorology @ 50%
09 ENGINEERING > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090599 Civil Engineering not elsewhere classified @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9602 Atmosphere and Weather > 960202 Atmospheric Processes and Dynamics @ 100%
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