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Creating a Drought Early Warning System for the 21st Century

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Western Governors' Association
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This report is a foundational document for the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) from the Western Governors' Association (WGA). From the executive summary:

"In February 2003, WGA’s Lead Governor for Drought, Mike Johanns of Nebraska, met with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Administrator, Vice Admiral Conrad Lautenbacher, to discuss a partnership between NOAA and WGA to develop a vision and recommendations for establishing an improved drought monitoring and forecasting system. The partnership began in April 2003, and this report, Creating A Drought Early Warning System for the 21st Century: The National Integrated Drought Information System, is the first product of that partnership.

We highlight two key components of NIDIS described in this report that will be critical to its successful implementation:

  1. improve and expand the compilation of reliable data on the various indicators of droughts, from both the physical/hydrological data (such as a national surface observing network) to the socio-economic and environmental impacts data (such as agriculture losses and wildfire impacts); and
  2. integrate and interpret that data with easily accessible and understandable tools, which provide timely and useful information to decision-makers and the general public."
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