Investigaors: Mark Shafer, Commission on Environmental Cooperation (Secretariat), NDMC, NCEI, CPO, NIDIS, APA, along with counterparts in Canada and Mexico
Stakeholders: Drought information and forecast providers
SCIPP is participating in this project as a member of the steering committee. SCIPP was invited to participate in the Commission on Environmental Cooperation (CEC) meeting held in Norman, Oklahoma, in June 2018. The meeting established an extreme events working group, which developed six potential projects, three of which were selected for funding by CEC in December 2018. One project focused on drought early warning systems was selected. Other leadership from the U.S. group on the project includes the National Drought Mitigation Center, NOAA NCEI, NOAA CPO, NIDIS, and the American Planning Association.
The economic, environmental, and social impacts of climate extremes across North America are significant. Not constrained by any nation’s borders, drought and its attendant hazards, including wildfire, floods, and landslides, create significant costs for local communities. Coordination and communication between the United States, Canada, and Mexico during recent North American droughts have been essential for minimizing and lessening impacts, such as reduced agricultural productivity, large wildfire outbreaks, and water shortages. Coordinated and integrated drought monitoring and early warning systems may effectively and efficiently mitigate negative drought impacts.
Current drought early warning systems focus primarily at national and regional levels; at local levels, there remains uncertainty among many local planners, emergency managers, water managers, tribal leaders, the private sector, and other users about which early warning capabilities, monitoring indicators, and existing drought planning tools and resources are most appropriate and cost-effective to support local drought management. Further, it is critical to “nest” local drought early warning systems within larger-scale early warning systems and also to link local systems with other local systems, particularly in regional settings across trans-boundary geographies, in order to ensure effective information flows and rapid, low-cost drought response at all levels, from local to tri-national.
Objective: 10: Assess gaps in research, products, and services applied to sector needs