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Improving the Federal Response to Western Drought

  • Author(s): Mount, Jeffrey
  • Hanak, Ellen
  • Chappelle, Caitrin
  • Colby, Bonnie
  • Frank, Richard
  • Gartrell, Greg
  • Gray, Brian
  • Kennedy, Douglas
  • Lund, Jay
  • Moyle, Peter
  • et al.
Abstract

All drought operations and planning in the West rely heavily on water information and forecasts provided by federal agencies. The federal government should preserve and enhance existing hydrologic and meteorologic data networks hit by budget cuts and modernize the technology used for forecasting. This may require rebalancing budget allocations for research, observation, and forecasting. This report begins with a spotlight on the current western drought followed by a road map of the various federal roles that touch on western water management and indentifies a series of modest, pragmatic federal actions that can help western states prepare for droughts and better manage emergencies when they occur.

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