5.8 Towards a Drought Information System for South America

Tuesday, 9 January 2018: 3:15 PM
Ballroom E (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Viviane Silva, NOAA/NWS, Silver Springs, MD; and G. Podesta, C. Saulo, J. Báez, R. Martinez, R. Pulwarty, M. Skansi, R. Stefanski, J. Camacho, and J. Peronto

Drought is among the least understood yet most damaging of all natural hazards (Pulwarty and Sivakumar, 2014). Its occurrence and impacts cross international boundaries. Drought has important social, economic and environmental impacts on South America, a region that relies mostly on rainfall with varying moisture sources, to sustain a large agricultural production, generate hydropower, transport goods along its waterways, sustain ecosystems and satisfy human cultural and environmental water needs.

The Regional Climate Center for southern South America – RCC-SSA, a six-country institution that contributes to the WMO’s Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) – in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), organized a workshop, hosted by Argentina’s National Meteorological Service, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 8-10 August 2017, to help identify the actions necessary for the development and implementation of a trans-national regional drought information system for South America. The workshop convened public and private drought-sensitive stakeholders from the RCC-SSA members (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay) as well as drawing on experts from across South America, Mexico, and the United States.

In this presentation we will report the outcomes and action items from the workshop and highlight the consensus framework for developing, implementing and sustaining a regional drought information system for South America. The system will initially be prototyped in two areas – the La Plata basin and Western South America - and subsequently adapted to the different contexts and needs of the entire region. While the initial focus will be on early warning, the goal is to construct a comprehensive integrated information system for anticipating and informing the management of drought-related risks across temporal and spatial scales in the region.

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner