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Drought Prediction: A Focus on Groundwater - End User Listening Session

Event Date
May 5, 2022
Event Time
12:00 pm - 2:30 pm

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and NOAA’s National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) are holding a series of listening sessions on Drought Prediction and Water Availability to seek input on priorities and needs related to predicting water availability changes under drought conditions at national and regional scales. This input will be used to guide USGS Drought Program planning and orientation, as well as to inform other national drought programs.

This second listening session, focused on groundwater, was held on May 5, 2022, and included a short introduction to groundwater drought prediction products, followed by guided discussions with participants on research priorities for product development or improvement at the national or regional scale.

For more information, see the final USGS-NIDIS report on this series: Drought Prediction and Water Availability: A Report on the 2022 USGS-NIDIS National Listening Session Series.


Introduction and Welcome

Speakers: Brian Clark, USGS Drought Science Program and Water Availability and Use Science Program; Marina Skumanich, NIDIS’ National Coordinated Soil Moisture Monitoring Network

  • Overview of today’s session
  • Mission of USGS and NIDIS
  • Register for the upcoming listening sessions



Groundwater Drought: Onset, Recovery, and Propagation

Speaker: Todd Caldwell, Groundwater Hydrologist, USGS Nevada Water Science Center

Watch this presentation

  • Tools for groundwater
  • GRACE: Gravity and Climate Experiment (NASA)
  • Advancing groundwater drought prediction



Arkansas Water Data and Project Implementation

Speaker: Ed Swaim, Executive Director Bayou Meto Water Management District

Watch this presentation

  • Water use categories
  • Application rates by crop
  • Long-term groundwater decline
  • Water delivery projects
  • Data for operation



Groundwater and Drought in California

Speaker: Tyler Hatch, Supervising Engineer, California Department of Water Resources

Watch this presentation

  • Sustainable Groundwater Management Act overview
  • Data and tools
  • Drought-related modeling questions



Prepare for Breakout Groups

Speakers: Marina Skumanich, NIDIS’ National Coordinated Soil Moisture Monitoring Network; Brian Clark, USGS Drought Science Program and Water Availability and Use Science Program

Pause in recording for breakout discussions. Small breakout groups were held for approximately 50 minutes to discuss:

  • How do you use groundwater information in your applications to anticipate changes related to drought conditions?
  • Based on your organization, what are challenges, special considerations, or common uncertainties for predicting groundwater changes related to drought?
  • What hydrologic drought prediction products or indices do you currently use to predict streamflow changes in your area?
  • What improvements to groundwater information and prediction would help you the most (e.g. timescale, resolution, specific locations, etc.)?



Plenary Report-Out

Speaker: Joel Lisonbee, NOAA/NIDIS, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES)

All participants rejoined the larger session to look at key ideas from each breakout group for improvements to groundwater information and prediction. A quick poll was taken of these ideas; the results provide a preliminary sense of priorities from the session, to be further analyzed over time. These very preliminary results are provided below.

Preliminary results from breakout poll, asking "what improvements to groundwater information would help you the most?" The highest ranking result was "Improving our understanding between soil moisture and groundwater and surface water drought"


End of Plenary Recording

This series of listening sessions will continue over the next several months. Links and registration information can be found below: 

Register for the upcoming listening sessions.