All regions and economic sectors in the United States depend on adequate and reliable water supplies. Too much or too little water can endanger the health and welfare of citizens and businesses. Driven by feedback from water resource managers, federal agencies and others, NOAA and partners have developed the Water Resources Dashboard: a one-stop website for relevant water data on drought, flooding, precipitation, climate and other measures.
NOAA is launching the new website today on World Water Day 2016 to better serve citizens, communities, businesses, resource managers, planners, and policy leaders at all levels of government.
With the help of several non-governmental organizations--including the American Planning Association, American Water Works Association, Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, Water Environment Federation, Water Environment Research Foundation and the Water Research Foundation--NOAA worked to combine resources on flooding, drought, and other extreme precipitation events into one location to better serve the needs of stakeholders.
“There is an increasing demand for information, particularly on extremes, as communities consider investments in infrastructure, transportation, land use and so on. The water and planning community made it very clear to us that what they wanted was a ‘one-stop-shop’ for this information. That’s what the Water Resources Dashboard is,” said Dr. Wayne Higgins, director of NOAA’s Climate Program Office. “Working with this community, getting their feedback, and having them as partners in this endeavor is critical to our efforts to link weather and climate information to resilience.”
Over the last year and a half, NGOs worked with their constituents to determine what datasets were most needed and NOAA used that information to build a dashboard that will help water resource managers and urban planners build resilience to extreme precipitation events.
Ken MacKenzie, the master planning program manager for Colorado’s Urban Drainage and Flood Control District, said the dashboard, “makes finding and downloading data much easier than before. I’m sure I will find new ways to use your resources now that they are so readily available.”
The dashboard is organized into three categories: observations; forecasts and outlooks; and people and assets. As the dashboard’s popularity grows, so may the needs of stakeholders. As such, new data products and case studies will be added.
To help people use the new resource, NOAA and its partners are developing an online learning series. The webinars, which will be recorded over this next year, will feature scientists and decision-makers and aim to help people understand both the science behind the datasets and the practical use of data to improve water resource planning and management. To make things easier, recordings will be linked to their corresponding datasets.
The Water Resources Dashboard is located on the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit (toolkit.climate.gov), which provides scientific tools, information, and expertise on a number of relevant climate topics in order to help people improve their resilience.
Explore the dashboard: http://toolkit.climate.gov/topics/water-resources/water-resources-dashboard
Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather. In 2011, the United States experienced a record high number (14) of climate- and weather-related disasters where overall costs reached or exceeded $1 billion. Combined, these events claimed 670 lives, caused more than 6,000 injuries, and cost $55 billion in damages. Businesses, policy leaders, resource managers and citizens are increasingly asking for information to help them address such challenges.
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