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Midwest DEWS Assessment Meetings - November and December 2016

Photo displaying two partners participating in the regional workshopsNIDIS and its partners conducted four regional workshops in late 2016 to help develop the Midwest Drought Early Warning System (DEWS) and build a drought networking community in the region.The workshops provided a historical drought overview and climate outlook; discussion of drought and climate tools, drought-related needs and critical issues; information from state agencies on how drought events are planned for and managed; and development of strategies to improve drought early warning and resiliency in the Midwest.


Objectives of the meeting series

  • Continue to build a Midwest DEWS community of a diverse group of federal, tribal, state, and local stakeholders that represent all economic sectors, including climate, water, and land resource management, to develop strategies and implement processes for improving drought early warning and resiliency in the Midwest.
  • Leverage the Midwest DEWS community to provide an opportunity for state agencies and local entities representing a broad range of sectors (e.g., energy, navigation, tourism, ecosystems, agriculture, health, and others) to learn from each other regarding the status of monitoring, drought planning, use of drought indicators and triggers, challenges and impacts of recent droughts, and drought response mechanisms.
  • Develop strategies that will benefit the Midwest DEWS community (e.g., actionable tools, resources, and opportunities) to continue to improve drought resiliency and early drought warning. These strategies will inform specific actions in the Midwest DEWS Strategic Plan.


  • Enhanced communication resources and networks (e.g., leveraging citizen science programs) that will be most effective for conveying drought information among sectors, government levels, and geographic areas.
  • Strategies to support drought vulnerability assessments, drought planning at state and local levels, and how drought monitoring, can be included in drought planning and other hazard mitigation planning efforts.
  • Improved understanding of:
    • how decision makers are currently using available drought and climate tools (e.g., US Drought Monitor)
    • stakeholder regional and statewide needs concerning how to create and evaluate a consistent drought message across sectors, agencies and other stakeholders
    • tools associated with the collection of drought impacts and adaptive capacities (BMPs) in addition to identifying strategies to improve the collection of such impacts and adaptive capacities
  • Recommendations for future actions, strategies, collaborative research, and decision support to improve drought early warning and resiliency in the Midwest.  These recommendations will inform actions in the Midwest DEWS Strategic Plan.


Minnesota-Wisconsin Workshop – Rochester MN – Nov. 7-8, 2016

Iowa-Missouri Workshop – Cedar Falls IA – Nov 9-10, 2016

Illinois-Indiana Workshop – Champaign IL – Dec 5-6, 2016

Ohio-Kentucky Workshop – Cincinnati OH – Dec 7-8, 2016

logos of NOAA, NIDIS, US Army Corps of Engineers, National Weather Service, USDA Midwest Climate Hub, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Kentucky Climate Center, Midwest Regional Climate Center, National Drought Mitigation Center, University of Missouri Extension