6.6 Understanding of, Working with, and Responding to the Needs of Water Resource Managers and Planners in the Face of a Changing Cliamte

Tuesday, 9 January 2018: 3:00 PM
Room 6B (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Nancy Beller-Simms, NOAA, Silver Spring, MD; and T. G. Houston

In response to requests from decision and policy makers from the water resource management and city planning communities, NOAA’s Climate Program Office, the National Centers for Environmental Information and several NGOs (including: the American Planning Association, American Water Works Association, Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, Water Environment Federation, Water Environment Research Foundation and the Water Research Foundation) worked together to develop the Water Resources Dashboard (Dashboard) to provide a one-stop location for many of the extreme precipitation (flooding and drought) data set needs of this community. (https://toolkit.climate.gov/topics/water/water-resources-dashboard). Over the course of a year and a half, these organizations worked with their constituents to determine the data sets most needed. Several NOAA line office staff worked together to secure the use of these data sets and designed the Dashboard for the community. Released in March 2016 as part of the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, the Dashboard features relevant datasets and background information. To date, there have been over 8,500 visits to this website. Continued collaboration and user analytics help to keep content in the Dashboard relevant to the water resource management and city planning communities.

During the course of the development of the Dashboard, decision makers voiced concern of not understanding the purpose and science behind some of the datasets on the Dashboard. The next effort jointly developed by this same group was to develop a series of ½ hour webinars which included brief descriptions by a scientist of the dataset being discussed, followed by an explanation by a water resource manager describing how they incorporate that specific data set in their work. The remaining webinar time included questions and answers between the audience and speakers.

The next joint effort will be to develop a series of “learning progressions” for users of all expertise. This project is currently underway and includes representatives from this initial group of Dashboard developers as well as US EPA, the Water Utility Climate Alliance and the National Weather Service.

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