Intermountain West Drought Early Warning System Strategic Action Plan: 2021–2025
The 2021–2025 Intermountain West Drought Early Warning System (DEWS) Strategic Action Plan was developed following a series of stakeholder meetings held virtually in October and November 2020. Each virtual meeting was focused on one of the following sector needs: Colorado River management and issues; water management (non-Colorado River); farming and cropping; livestock; recreation and tourism; and forestry, ecology, and fire management. Attendees were asked about how drought impacted their lives, their jobs, and their businesses. They were then asked to identify gaps and needs in the drought information they use and need. The output from each of these meetings was combined and distilled to identify common themes across sectors and strongly emphasized points within sectors. These meetings were used to guide the priorities and activities that are highlighted in this Strategic Action Plan.
This plan is intended to be a “living document” that can evolve with the changing needs of people in the region. It is also a resource document that provides a snapshot of the current needs and gaps of drought early warning in the Intermountain West DEWS, and can be used to objectively measure the alignment of future projects with the needs of the region.
The three priority areas for the Intermountain West region are:
- Build resilience and mitigate economic, human health, ecological, and other costs of drought.
- Deliver earlier warning of drought than is currently available.
- Improve or build a comprehensive understanding of drought impacts in the region.