3b.2 Evaluation of drought monitoring in Saskatchewan

Monday, 18 July 2011: 3:45 PM
Salon C2 (Asheville Renaissance)
Steven M. Quiring, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX; and S. Patil

Ensuring that drought and excessive moisture monitoring systems are able to provide valuable and pertinent information to decision makers is vitally important since this information can support their efforts to design and implement effective preparedness and response initiatives. The Saskatchewan Watershed Authority and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture commissioned a study to provide recommendations on how to improve drought monitoring in Saskatchewan. The main objectives were to: (1) review existing drought indices and spatial interpolation techniques to determine which are the most appropriate, and (2) review existing observation networks and identify spatial or temporal inadequacies. The main challenge to monitoring moisture conditions in Saskatchewan is the lack of integration (and consistency) of the existing weather networks. At present, weather data are collected by different agencies for different purposes and there is no centralized collection and organization of these data. Developing a network of networks in Saskatchewan will allow for the automated collection, integration and quality control of observations from many networks. A network of at least 500 weather stations is needed to accurately represent moisture conditions at the local level (rural municipality). Developing a network of networks would take advantage of the existing networks in the province and would improve the quality of data and tools that are available for monitoring moisture conditions. These data can be provided to a diverse group of users for monitoring, decision support and adaptation/mitigation activities.
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