As a component of the Coping with Drought initiative, the RISA program had a call for proposals to support the development of indicators of drought designed to be of most use to managers and planners grappling with severe and in some cases ongoing drought in their regions. Several projects have been underway in three different parts of the country to develop indicators. These indicators are being developed in collaboration with managers and planners and take into account the impacts of drought and how drought information could be best communicated to meet management needs.
Indicators are being developed for coastal ecosystems in the Carolinas, water management in California, and native communities in parts of Arizona. For instance, the California Nevada Applications Program (CNAP) RISA is developed a percentile-based indicator system for analyzing historic droughts and characterizing the recent California drought. In the Southwest, the Climate Assessment for the Southwest (CLIMAS) RISA has been working with the Hopi community on drought monitoring and planning to develop the first-ever Hopi Quarterly Drought Status Report which integrates scientific and local knowledge about drought. The Carolinas Integrated Sciences and Assessments (CISA) RISA team is developing a coastal drought index (CDI). Utilizing priorities identified through stakeholder interviews and a needs assessment of coastal resource managers, researchers will determine linkages between ecological indicators and varying salinity levels.
This presentation will discuss RISA's role in developing drought indicators based on engagement with decision makers and how this work fits into the larger role that RISAs are playing in the development of the NIDIS Regional Drought Early Warning Systems across the U.S.