From time immemorial, the people of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) have been intricately linked to the First Foods (water, salmon, big game, roots, and berries). The First Foods gave themselves to the people, and in reciprocity, the people take care of the First Foods. To build Tribal drought resilience, the CTUIR will develop a culturally relevant drought early warning system (DEWS) to ensure the long-term security of the First Foods, cultural practices, economic activities, and groundwater supplies to meet domestic, commercial, municipal and irrigation uses on the Umatilla Indian Reservation.
With this project, the CTUIR plans to address drought variability, forecast its onset/recovery, conduct research, plan for mitigation, and share this information with the Umatilla Indian Reservation (UIR) community, other tribes, state and federal agencies, and the broader scientific and environmental communities. To accomplish these objectives, the CTUIR proposes to develop a DEWS dashboard and local indices for streamflow, baseflow and groundwater levels, prepare a conservation plan, and expand monitoring of springs in the upper Umatilla River Basin and of groundwater levels in the southern portion of the UIR (drilling two wells, shallow and deep).
Partners in the project include the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, NOAA’s National Integrated Drought Information System and National Weather Service, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service, Oregon State University, and the UIR community. This project and its anticipated accomplishments will enable the CTUIR to strengthen and expand tribal drought resilience and adaptation.
This research was funded by NIDIS through the FY 2022 Coping with Drought Competition – Building Tribal Drought Resilience. For more information, please contact Britt Parker (email@example.com) and Crystal Stiles (firstname.lastname@example.org).