NOAA and Western Governors sign agreement
Collaboration for drought, flooding, and wildfire preparedness
June 19, 2014
On June 9th, NOAA Administrator, Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, participated in a roundtable discussion on Managing Drought, hosted by the Western Governors’ Association (WGA) during its annual meeting in Colorado Springs, Colorado. At the event, Dr. Sullivan signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with WGA Chairman and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper that renews and strengthens collaboration on drought, flooding and wildfire preparedness.
As outlined in the MOU, its purpose is to improve the development, coordination and dissemination of drought and extreme weather data, information, and analysis – as well as preparedness and planning tools and innovations – in order to support the resource management decisions of Western states. The Parties will explore ways to ensure that collection and sharing of crucial drought, flooding, and extreme weather – related data, impact statistics, and information are improved and sustained. Focal areas may include soil moisture monitoring in the Missouri River Basin and water supply needs assessments, including snowpack monitoring, in the Mountain West and coastal watersheds.
Researchers from the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory’s Physical Sciences Division (PSD) are instrumental in providing climate information that supports these efforts, in collaboration with such programs as the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS). Housed at PSD in Boulder, CO, NIDIS provides authoritative, objective and timely drought information that farmers, water managers, decision-makers, and local governments can use to prepare for and respond to drought.