This project is designed to expand the U.S. network of emergency managers and hazards and disaster researchers to more actively involve experts from the drought research, policy, and practice community. To achieve this vision, it is critical to bridge the divide between acute- and slow-onset research and practice communities. As such, this project responds to recent calls for deeper integration and involves activities that will bring together the traditional disaster research and emergency management community with professionals from the drought and slow-onset hazards community.
The authors in the second edition of Drought and Water Crises: Integrating Science, Management, and Policy (see Wilhite and Pulwarty, eds., 2018) write convincingly that if communities and states are going to reduce the soaring human, economic, and environmental costs of drought, it is going to require multiple paradigm shifts from:
- Drought and crisis management to drought risk reduction
- Drought response and recovery to environmental mitigation and preparedness
- Post-drought assessments to drought early warning systems
- Piecemeal approaches to comprehensive policy regimes.
As with any fundamental paradigm shift in any field, this work is going to require cross-sector and interdisciplinary approaches to research, practice, and policy. It is also going to necessitate the integration of researchers, emergency managers, and policy experts who are working on drought and water scarcity issues with other professionals who are working at the nexus of other acute-onset natural hazards that are similarly increasing in frequency, intensity, and severity.