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2021 Southwest Drought Forum Meeting Summary: Preparing for Long-Term Drought and Aridification

Document Author
Joel Lisonbee, Elizabeth Ossowski, Meredith Muth, Veva Deheza, and Amanda Sheffield
Document Date
Document Type
Meeting Summaries
Document Description

The southwestern United States, comprising the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah, is experiencing an historic continuing drought. In early 2020, an extreme deficit in precipitation paired with extremely high temperatures marked a low point in two decades of below-average precipitation across the region.

In response to these exceptional drought conditions, NOAA's National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) convened the 2021 Southwest Drought Forum in September 2021. This forum brought together over 100 drought experts, stakeholders, and decision-makers to discuss the long-term implications of drought in the Southwest, and offer paths forward toward realizing a sustainable and healthy Southwest region in a changing environment. 

This summary, published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, documents key issues raised during the forum to 1) understand drought risks in the Southwest, 2) identify current opportunities and barriers, and 3) explore innovative frameworks and partnerships for decision making in light of future trends.

View video recordings from the 2021 Southwest Drought Forum:

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Cover page of the meeting summary
Climate Region(s)
Western Climate Region