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Drought Prediction: Water Availability Prediction for Ecosystems - End User Listening Session

Event Date
September 8, 2022
Event Time
1:00 pm - 3:30 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 fourth listening session, focused on water availability prediction for ecosystems, was held on September 8, 2022, and included a short introduction to hydrologic prediction products related to ecosystems, followed by guided discussions with participants on priorities for product development or improvement at the national or regional scale.


Introduction and Welcome

Speakers: John Hammond, USGS Data Driven Drought Prediction Project Manager and Brian Clark, USGS Drought Science Program and Water Availability and Use Science Program

  • Due to widespread technical difficulties with Microsoft Teams, this portion of the session was not recorded.


Towards Water Availability Prediction for Ecosystems: A USGS Perspective

Speaker: Jake Weltzin, Senior Science Advisor, USGS Ecosystems Mission Area

Watch this presentation

  • Water for ecosystems
  • USGS capacities
  • Strategic prioritizations
  • Integrative collaborations
  • Developing a national capacity for ecohydrological and drought science and information


Water Availability Prediction for Ecosystems

Speaker: David Jenkins, Assistant Director, Resources and Planning, Bureau of Land Management

Watch this presentation

  • Bureau of Land Management lands
  • Mission
  • Planning for change
  • Letting water do the work
  • Adapting to extreme weather
  • Building climate resilience


    A Process for Actionable Ecodrought Science

    Speaker: Shelley Crausbay, Senior Scientist, Conservation Science Partners

    Watch this presentation

    • Ecological drought footprint
    • Ecodrought drivers, impacts, visualization, and adaptation
    • Decision context, drought history, ecological impacts of concern
    • Consider holistic range of drivers
    • Gather data on impacts and drivers
    • Model ecodrought vulnerability
    • Visualize ecodrought vulnerability
    • Craft adaptation strategies that address key drivers


    Prepare for Breakout Groups

    Speakers: John Hammond and Brian Clark

    Breakout Discussions: After the plenary, small breakout groups were held for approximately 50 minutes to discuss:

    • How do you use water availability information for ecosystems in your applications to anticipate changes related to drought conditions?
    • Based on your organization, what are challenges, special considerations, or common uncertainties for predicting water availability changes for ecosystems related to drought?
    • What hydrologic drought prediction products or indices do you currently use to predict water availability for ecosystems in your area?
    • What improvements to water availability information and prediction for ecosystems 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)

    Watch the plenary report-out session

    All participants briefly rejoined the larger session after the breakouts to look at takeaways from the last topic of improvements to water availability information and prediction. A quick poll was taken of key ideas; these 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 the breakout poll showed a fairly even split on desired improvements to water availability information. However, the top response was that improvement will depend on end user needs.


    End of Plenary Recording

    This concludes this series of listening sessions. Links and recordings of past sessions can be found below:

    Register for the upcoming summary webinar: