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Drought Planning in the Southeast United States

Document Author
Kirsten Lackstrom, Carolinas Integrated Sciences and Assessments
Document Date
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Document Description

Despite being a humid region, droughts pose a serious threat to the southeastern United States. Recent events, including flash droughts, have caused substantial impacts to agriculture, forestry, water resources, and other sectors and stakeholders. The drought planning literature cites reduced fragmentation and increased coordination as critical needs to improving drought preparedness and response. However, few efforts have investigated precisely what types of drought plans and policies are in place and what mechanisms might facilitate cooperation and collaboration, particularly in the Southeast region. 

This project documented, compared, and assessed drought response and preparedness planning in the Southeast United States, with the overall goal of helping to clarify the following items for drought coordinators and other drought decision makers across the region: 

  • When and how different states monitor, respond to, and plan for drought events
  • Effective strategies and “best practices” for drought planning
  • Mechanisms and opportunities for collaboration and coordination around drought planning and preparedness, given that droughts are often regional in extent and cross political boundaries.

Furthermore, this project is intended to provide a baseline understanding of the drought planning landscape in the southeastern United States and inform planning-related activities of the National Integrated Drought Information (NIDIS) Southeast Drought Early Warning System (DEWS) network and partnering organizations. 

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The report, Drought Planning in the Southeast United States, was published on November 10, 2022.
DEWS Region(s)
Tribal Engagement
Climate Region(s)
Southeastern Climate Region