A civilizations lifeblood is available fresh water. Drought is a stealthy natural disaster, it doesn't have the huff and puff of a hurricane, the shock of an earthquake or the terror of a tornado- but it can be just as deadly. We have been covering the devastating drought in the Southeast, as well as the fires in California, now we have a tool to get better acquainted with this silent stalker.
The U.S. government unveiled the U.S. Drought Portal last week that effectively provides a comprehensive center where anyone with an internet connection can see the current drought conditions, impacts, and forecasts. It is actually quite intuitive, and easy to use. The front row seat to drought is part of the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), created in response to the emerging impact of extended drought conditions in the U.S., and recommended by the Western Governors Association in 2004 and enacted into law in 2006.Led by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Drought Portal is designed to be used for drought risk assessment and management.
"The U.S. Drought Portal centralizes drought information in an unprecedented manner, and paves the way for planned early warning system development pilots in select watersheds and states across the U.S.," said Roger Pulwarty, director of the NIDIS program office located on NOAA's campus in Boulder, Colorado.
The portal is also the spearhead of the U.S. commitment to cultivating information services for drought-risk management and adaptation internationally.