Sunday, December 1, 2013

National Drought Resilience Partnership to help US communities prepare for drought

Magic As part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, the Obama Administration has announced an interagency National Drought Resilience Partnership to help communities prepare for future droughts and reduce the impact of drought events on livelihoods and the economy.

Responding to requests from communities, businesses, and farmers and ranchers, the National Drought Resilience Partnership will make it easier to access federal drought resources, and will help link information such as monitoring, forecasts, outlooks, and early warnings with longer-term drought resilience strategies in critical sectors such as agriculture, municipal water systems, energy, recreation, tourism and manufacturing.

In its first year, the partnership will focus on creating a new, web-based portal to ease access to federal agency drought recovery resources, hosting more frequent regional drought outlook forums that provide access to experts and locally relevant information, supporting the coordination of a national soil moisture monitoring network to help improve monitoring and forecasting drought conditions, and identifying a single point of contact for the public. In collaboration with local, state and regional governments, the partnership will also undertake a pilot project in a western area hard hit by drought to create a local-scale drought resilience plan that could be applied in other areas.

...“The impacts of drought can be devastating to local communities and economies and don’t end with the onset of fall and winter,” said Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, Acting Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). “This partnership builds upon NOAA’s climate programs and products, and recent improvement to our drought forecasts to provide our many stakeholders with the critical environmental intelligence they need for drought planning and preparedness activities. This is another step in our efforts to help build communities that are resilient to a variety of weather and climate related events.”...

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