2022-2026 Northeast Drought Early Warning System (DEWS) Strategic Action Plan
The purpose of the 2022–2026 Northeast Drought Early Warning System (DEWS) Strategic Action Plan is to document regionally identified needs and offer a guide for future activities that will improve drought early warning and preparedness in the Northeast DEWS. Partners from across New England and New York attended virtual listening sessions in October and November of 2020 to discuss the progress made and identify next steps.
Discussions acknowledged the progress made across the Northeast DEWS network to better communicate and collaborate in preparing for and responding to drought in the region. It also led participants to ask how the DEWS might further advance not only information delivery but also drought impact mitigation. While the 2020 Northeast drought resulted in greater coordination between the states and the application of lessons learned from the previous drought, additional needs emerged. Those needs are integrated into this plan.
The following five priorities were identified and confirmed during the 2020 virtual listening sessions and the 2021 meeting of Northeast DEWS stakeholders:
- Continue to build a comprehensive understanding of drought indicators/indices used in the Northeast, to better demonstrate their value, limitations, business sector relevance, seasonal and geographical application.
- Expand drought observations (such as monitoring dry wells and soil moisture conditions) and utilize datasets (such as snow survey data) that can help build a robust drought impact reporting system. This system should include a citizen science information component and contribute to a regional-scale response framework.
- Expand partnerships with diverse stakeholders, such as local and federal emergency management agencies, Tribal nations, and the private sector, to more effectively build drought resilience and drought response resources across sectors and communities.
- Improve collaboration, coordination, and communication among partners in the Northeast DEWS network to support information-sharing.
- To support the drought planning and plan evaluation cycle, increase opportunities for planners to share drought-related lessons learned both within and across the DEWS, sectors, tribal, state, and local agencies.