Eric Luebehusen, agricultural meteorologist for USDA’s Office of Chief Economist and World Agricultural Outlook Board details the creation of the United States Drought Monitor to a White House Water Summit attendee.
Communities across the United States are facing water challenges, impacting millions of lives and costing billions of dollars in damages. Recent events, including record-breaking drought in the West and severe flooding in the Southeast have elevated a national dialogue on the state of our Nation’s water resources and infrastructure.
These challenges are why on March 22, the White House hosted a Water Summit to correspond with the United Nations World Water Day. The meeting raised awareness of water issues and highlighted potential solutions to building a sustainable and secure water future. Following a slate of presentations outlining innovative solutions to water quality and quantity challenges, attendees were invited to review interactive demonstrations of projects including technologies that help communities and businesses manage the challenges of long term drought. Read more »
Drought knows no national boundary and can impact almost all socio-economic activities in the society. Projections indicate that the frequency, intensity and duration of droughts are likely to increase in the future. Without a coordinated national drought policy nations around the world will continue to respond in a reactive, crisis management mode. A national drought policy should include effective monitoring and early warning systems to deliver timely information to decision makers; effective impact assessment procedures; proactive risk management measures and preparedness plans aimed at increasing the coping capacity; and effective emergency measures. Comprehensive National Drought Policies can help countries cope with the impacts of droughts through pro-active drought risk management approaches. Read more »