Thursday, 14 August 2008: 9:30 AM
Harmony AB (Telus Whistler Conference Centre)
This talk contrasts progress on two projects that seek to improve stakeholder access to drought information by broadly implementing web-based tools developed within narrowly-defined regional contexts. The projects focus on transfer of the Southeast Climate Consortium's AgClimate tool to New Mexico, the Carolinas Integrated Sciences and Assessments' Dynamic Drought Index Tool to Arizona and New Mexico, and the Arizona Cooperative Extension/Climate Assessment for the Southwest's Drought Impact Reporting System to the Carolinas. The projects were designed to demonstrate transferability, scalability and expandability of these regional decision-support tools. Results indicate that use of computer industry-standard procedures, such as requirements documents and multi-developer revision control systems, are essential for region-to-region transfer of climate-related tools in the public sector. This is in sharp contrast to tools designed with a national focus. The projects were also designed to garner information on regional distinctions in key NIDIS goals, such as stakeholder needs for drought decision support, risk assessment, and drought early warning. Findings indicate similarities in stakeholder skepticism regarding application of climate information to decision-making, and emphasize the need to work preferentially with early adopters of new information and technologies. With regard to drought monitoring and early warning, applications are more apparent for southeastern water management stakeholders, given their greater reliance on surface water and more local-scale water management. In the Southwest, where surface water is managed by large federal projects and groundwater is often perceived as drought-proof, regional monitoring tools appear to be more useful to land, natural resources, and wildlife managers and extension personnel.
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