Wednesday, 12 February 2003: 1:45 PM
Climate Information and Water Resource Management: Two Initiatives in the Southwest
The NOAA-funded Climate Assessment for the Southwest (CLIMAS) project has embarked on a year-long initiative (called END InSight) to provide monthly packets of climate information to a selected group of regional stakeholders, including water resource managers. The hydroclimatic focus of the initiative is the El Niņo forecasted for 2002-03 and the severe drought currently gripping the Southwest. The approximately 40 participants are being given a short questionnaire with each packet to fill out and return to CLIMAS. In the questionnaire, participants are invited to evaluate each of the pieces of information they receive in terms of the information's utility, ease of interpretation, provision with appropriate lead time, level of detail, and graphic design. They are also invited to indicate whether or not they actually used the information provided and if so, how. The data collected under the END InSight initiative will serve several purposes: (a) provide improved understanding of the degree of convergence between information available and information needed among stakeholders in the US Southwest; (b) gather comments and suggestions that may be useful in developing or improving forecast and information products; and (c) providing guidance to forecast and information providers in researching and developing better and more useful products. A related and interconnected initiative is also underway to improve the flow of climate information between forecasters and stakeholders in the Upper San Pedro River watershed. The river and its watershed, which spans the US-Mexico border, is located in the northwestern corner of Sonora and southeastern corner of Arizona. Currently funded by the Netherlands-based Dialogue on Water and Climate (DWC), a group of researchers from the University of Arizona and UNAM in Mexico City are working to develop a combined set of US and Mexican information useful to local watershed residents and stakeholders on both sides of the border. In this case, some of the information and survey questions developed under END InSight are being replicated for the Mexico side of the border. Additional information, specific to this border area, is also being developed. This paper provides a mid-course progress report on the two projects, and the implications for provision and use of climate information in water resource management.