Drought Decisions and Support in the Rio Grande – Rio Bravo River Basin

Investigator(s): Mark Shafer, Alek Krautmann, Gregg Garfin
Research Dates: 2013 - 2016
Affiliate Organization(s): University of Oklahoma • University of Arizona

The Rio Grande/Bravo River Basin (RGB) of the United States and México, is exposed to tornadoes, severe storms, hurricanes, winter storms, wildfire, and drought. In order to contribute to increased binational preparedness, information flow, and knowledge exchange in the region, the project investigators developed a prototype quarterly RGB Climate Outlook. The RGB Outlook features a synthesis of climate products, impact data and analysis, and is expressed in user-friendly language. The RGB Outlook is co-produced with colleagues from the U.S. and Mexico, in conjunction with the North American Climate Services Partnership (NACSP). Using an online survey, the project team performed an evaluation of the uses of the RGB Outlook to identify basic use statistics and recommendations for improving the prototype. The survey report can be found here.

In order to develop capacity in the binational Rio Grande-Rio Bravo (RGB) river basin to cope with drought, use climate prediction information and analysis, and to foster planning for uncertain future conditions, the team convened a Climate Adaptation Workshop under the auspices of NACSP. Participants included U.S., Mexican, and Canadian weather, water, and climate information providers, research scientists, and natural resource managers. In the two-day workshop, participants learned and used scenario planning methods to develop and examine strategies for coping with future climate uncertainty at seasonal and multi-decade time scales. The workshop facilitated interactions between NACSP scientists, climate services partners, and stakeholders with a focus on ecological, water resources, and economic management challenges and concerns in the RGB, with a focus on drought conditions.

The survey report can be found here.

For a broader paper on the issue, click here

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