3A.9 Regional Drought Early Warning, Impacts, and Assessment for Water and Agriculture in the Rio Grande Basin, 2016–2017

Monday, 8 January 2018: 4:00 PM
Room 18A (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
David P. Brown, USDA, El Reno, OK; and T. K. Bernadt, D. DuBois, B. Fuchs, W. L. Hargrove, S. Hermitte, L. Kos, A. Kremen, M. A. Shafer, C. Steele, R. Steele, C. Turner, C. West, and C. Simpson

In response to the issuance of a La Nina watch in 2016, the National Drought Mitigation Center, along with USDA’s Climate Change Program Office and Southern Plains and Southwest Climate Hubs, initiated a collaborative effort to provide drought early warning information to water and agriculture management interests in the middle and lower Rio Grande valleys. With contributions from other federal, state, and academic partners, five stakeholder workshops were convened between October 2016 and August 2017. These workshops centered on (1) the provision of timely weather, water, and climate forecasts on a regional basis as well as historical and future contexts for drought in the basin; (2) the dissemination of tools and information resources related to drought early warning, preparedness, and education; and (3) the solicitation of expert user perspectives on drought management challenges and strategies. Outputs from the workshops included the identification of key physical and social science research questions associated with the impacts of extreme events on water and agriculture, the promotion of regional literacy on weather, water, and climate issues, and the engagement of cross-jurisdictional and transboundary partners and audiences. The workshops further contributed to broad, ongoing regional initiatives to enhance the decision-making capacity of water and agricultural interests through early warning of an extreme event, support implementation of adaptive management strategies, and foster new information networks.
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