North American Weather & Climate Extremes: Progress in Monitoring and Research

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1 North American Weather & Climate Extremes: Progress in Monitoring and Research July 15-21, 2005 Aspen Global Change Institute Aspen, Colorado Shaun McGrath Western Governors Association

2 WGA Drought Report

3 FEMA Stafford Act Presidential Declaration Request must come from a Governor Damage Assessment to Individuals and Public Facilities Disaster is beyond the capabilities of the State and local governments President Declares Disaster making federal assistance available

4 FEMA Stafford Act Presidential Declaration FEMA does not do Drought! Wildfire Suppression Application Process Pre-Positioning Program

5 USDA Four types of disaster designations are made: 1) Presidential major disaster declaration 2) USDA Secretarial disaster designation 3) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator s Physical Loss Notification 4) Quarantine designation (authorizes Emergency Loans)

6 USDA Secretary Declaration STEP 1 -- A county judge or other local entity notifies the governor s office of the disaster conditions and losses. The governor makes a request in writing to the Secretary of Agriculture within three months of the ending date of the disaster. STEP 2 -- FSA county offices assemble required agricultural loss information for the Damage Assessment Report (DAR). STEP 3 -- FSA s NHQ notifies the SED. The SED instructs county offices named in the request to complete the DAR, conduct County Emergency Board (CEB) meetings, and approve or disapprove the DAR. STEP 4 -- The DAR is submitted to the State Emergency Board (SEB) for review and processing. STEP 5 -- The SED prepares comments and recommendations. The SEB reviews the DAR. Upon approval, the DAR is submitted to FSA s National Headquarters (NHQ). STEP 6 -- FSA s Emergency Preparedness and Programs Branch (EPPB) processes the loss information on the DAR, determines eligibility, and prepares a package, including the letter of approval or disapproval, to be signed by the Secretary. The office of the Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services reviews the package and forwards it to the Secretary. STEP 7 -- The Secretary approves or declines the request in writing.

7 The information required to process a USDA Secretarial disaster Previous 5-year average production history for the crops and farms listed in the DAR; Farm price average for previous 3 years for the crops listed in the DAR; Dates crops suffered damage, and conditions causing production losses; DAR signed by the CEB and SEB chairpersons; CEB and SEB meeting minutes; SED comments and recommendations.

8 Bureau of Reclamation 1991 Reclamation States Drought Relief Act Title I authorizes BoR to do the following construction, management, and conservation measures to alleviate the adverse impacts of drought, including mitigation of fish and wildlife impacts flexibility to meet contractual water deliveries by allowing acquisition of water to meet requirements under the Endangered Species Act participate in water banks established under state law facilitate water acquisitions between willing buyers and willing sellers acquire conserved water for use under temporary contracts make facilities available for storage and conveyance of project and nonproject water make project and nonproject water available for nonproject uses acquire water for fish and wildlife purposes on a nonreimbursable basis

9 Bureau of Reclamation 1991 Reclamation States Drought Relief Act The programs and authorities established under this subchapter shall become operative in any Reclamation State and in the State of Hawaii only after the Governor or Governors of the affected State or States, has made a request for temporary drought assistance and the Secretary has determined that such temporary assistance is merited.

10 Army Corps of Engineers Emergency Water Supply Emergency Water Hauling and Well Drilling for Human consumption (not livestock) Request initiated by Governor State and local governments must make full use of their own resources

11 Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loan Low interest working capital loans to small non-farm businesses and small agriculture cooperatives to help meet financial obligations arising from natural disasters Triggered by declaration by Secretary of Agriculture

12 1996 WGA Drought Report Key Findings Lack of coordination and integration of federal programs Almost Exclusive Emphasis on Response vs. Mitigation/Preparedness

13 1996 WGA Drought Report Key Recommendations Establish a regional drought policy and coordinating council Develop a national drought policy that integrates actions and responsibilities among all levels of government

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15 National Drought Policy Act of 1997 Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM) Rep. Joe Skeen (R-NM)

16 National Drought Policy Commission May 2000 Report

17 National Drought Preparedness Act of 2005 S. 802 Domenici(R-NM)/Baucus(D-MT) H.R Hastings (D-FL)/Rehberg (R-MT) Osborne (R-NE)/Herseth (D-SD)

18 Key Objectives of Bill 1. Improve Coordination and Integration of Federal Drought Programs 2. Encourage and Facilitate Drought Preparedness and Mitigation 3. Improve Drought Monitoring & Prediction 4. Establish Reliable Funding Mechanism for Drought Programs

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20 NIDIS 1996 WGA Drought Report Provide a regional/national climate monitoring system. May 1999 WDCC Report to NDPC It is critical to provide resources and designate a responsible agency or group to produce a national drought assessment report. May 2000 National Drought Policy Commission Goal 2 Recommendation Improve collaboration among scientists and managers to enhance the effectiveness of observation networks, monitoring, prediction, information delivery, and applied research and to foster public understanding of and preparedness for drought.

21 NIDIS 2005 WGA Resolution Future Management of Drought in the West Improved Forecasting & Monitoring - The policy should coordinate and integrate a variety of observations, analysis techniques and forecasting methods in a system that would support drought assessment and decision-making at the lowest geopolitical level possible. The improved characterization of current drought conditions and forecasting of future droughts, should provide a better basis to "trigger" the implementation of preparedness plans and federal drought assistance. National Drought Preparedness Act NIDIS means a comprehensive system that collects and integrates information on the key indicators of drought in order to make useable, reliable, and timely assessments of drought including the severity of drought and forecasts.

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23 The issue of scale and resolution is critical for assessing impacts and making timely management decisions.

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32 WGA-NOAA Partnership Creating a Drought Early Warning System for the 21 st Century: The National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) Adopted by WGA June 2004 N I D I S

33 NIDIS Recommendations Establishing NIDIS Data Needs and Integration Tools Research Needs Facilitating Drought Preparedness Programs Interaction and Education N I D I S

34 1. Establishing NIDIS NIDIS should be formally established NOAA should be lead federal agency NOAA should immediately establish a broad-based implementation team Drought infrastructure should not be centralized in Washington, D.C. N I D I S

35 2.Data Needs & Integration Tools NIDIS must integrate data from existing networks (real-time; resolution; long-term continuity and quality assurance) NIDIS shall identify and fill data gaps Develop methodology to accurately and comprehensively quantify and report drought impacts N I D I S

36 3. Research Needs Establish an integrated federal drought research program N I D I S

37 4. Facilitating Drought Preparedness Programs Facilitate drought planning by providing triggers in drought preparedness plans (NDMC) Provide triggers for federal drought assistance programs N I D I S

38 Interaction and Education Ongoing evaluation to ensure NIDIS is meeting user needs NIDIS should support drought outreach, education, and training programs N I D I S

39 NIDIS Activities August 2004 WGA letter to President February 2005 President s 06 Budget Request -- $7.4 million to support NIDIS (Water Resources Initiative & NERON) May 2005 WGA letter to Appropriations Committees supporting full implementation of NIDIS. May 2005 WGA letter to Gov. Johanns

40 NIDIS Activities Strategic Plan for the U.S. Integrated Earth Observation System NIDIS is listed as 1 of 6 Near Term Opportunities NSTC-SDR Grand Challenges for Disaster Reduction Improve the information infrastructure to reach and educate those affected by drought and those providing drought information.

41 Definitions -- NDMC Drought originates from a deficiency of precipitation over an extended period of time, usually a season or more. This deficiency results in a water shortage for some activity, group, or environmental sector. Drought should be considered relative to some long-term average condition of balance between precipitation and evapotranspiration (i.e., evaporation + transpiration) in a particular area, a condition often perceived as normal. It is also related to the timing (i.e., principal season of occurrence, delays in the start of the rainy season, occurrence of rains in relation to principal crop growth stages) and the effectiveness (i.e., rainfall intensity, number of rainfall events) of the rains. Other climatic factors such as high temperature, high wind, and low relative humidity are often associated with it in many regions of the world and can significantly aggravate its severity. Drought should not be viewed as merely a physical phenomenon or natural event. Its impacts on society result from the interplay between a natural event (less precipitation than expected resulting from natural climatic variability) and the demand people place on water supply. Human beings often exacerbate the impact of drought.

42 Definitions -- NDMC Meteorological Hydrological Agricultural Socioeconomic

43 Definitions -- National Drought Preparedness Act DROUGHT- The term `drought' means a natural disaster that is caused by a deficiency in precipitation-- (A) that may lead to a deficiency in surface and subsurface water supplies (including rivers, streams, wetlands, ground water, soil moisture, reservoir supplies, lake levels, and snow pack); and (B) that causes or may cause-- (i) substantial economic or social impacts; or (ii) physical damage or injury to individuals, property, or the environment.

44 Economic Impacts Costs and losses to agricultural producers Costs and losses to livestock producers Loss from timber production Loss from fishery production General economic effects, e.g. decreased land prices; unemployment; foreclosures; etc. Loss to recreation and tourism industry Energy-related effects Water Suppliers Transportation Industry Decline in food production/disrupted food supply

45 Environmental Impact Damage to Animal Species * Reduced availability of food and water * Disease * Increased predation * Loss of Biodiversity * Increased stress on endangered species Hydrological Effects * Lower water levels in lakes, ponds, etc. * Reduced streamflow/flow from springs * Loss of wetlands/groundwater * Water quality impairments Damage to Plan Communities * Loss of Biodiversity * Loss of trees from urban landscapes, shelterbelts, etc.

46 Social Impacts Health * Mental and Physical stress * Health-related low-flow problems * Loss of Human Life * Loss of food sources nutrition * Public safety related to wildfire * Increased respiratory ailments * Increased disease caused by wildlife Increased Conflicts * Water/Political/Management/ Reduced Quality of Life, Change in Lifestyle * Increased Poverty * Population Migrations * Loss or reduction of recreational activities

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