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Drought Preparedness for Tribes in the Four Corners | CLIMAS


Drought Preparedness for Tribes in the Four Corners

Drought Preparedness for Tribes in the Four Corners

The National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS)—in collaboration with the US Geological Survey (USGS) Flagstaff Science Center, the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC), and the Climate Assessment for the Southwest (CLIMAS)—hosted 1.5 day workshop in Flagstaff, Arizona, on April 8-9 2010, to explore opportunities for developing a drought early warning system for the Four Corners region of the U.S. Southwest. Approximately 40 participants attended, representing a broad spectrum of groups concerned about drought and climate change in the region: the Hopi Tribe, the Hualapai Tribe, the Navajo Nation, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, the Tohono O’odham Nation, the Pueblo of Zuni, the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP), the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BoR), the Western Regional Climate Center (WRCC), the National Weather Service, the USGS, the Western Water Assessment (WWA), NDMC, NIDIS, and CLIMAS.

The workshop agenda was designed to work toward two goals:

Identify critical needs: In order to develop effective local drought early warning and response systems, it is necessary to articulate the drought and climate information and decision support needs of tribal leaders and natural resource managers.
Explore the feasibility of forming a knowledge network: NIDIS is charged with developing and implementing a drought early warning system for the United States. By forming better ties amongst Native Nations, federal and state agencies (including interagency groups like NIDIS), and university-based researchers, the goal is to begin to develop a regional network of parties confronting drought that can form the basis for a Four Corners drought early warning system.

The workshop report lays out the key issues discussed at the workshop, provides some basic context and information about the climate and drivers of drought in the region, and looks toward potential next steps for developing an effective drought early warning system for the Four Corners region.

More information about NIDIS efforts in the Four Corners region can be found on the Four Corners Tribal Lands pages on the US Drought Portal.