Rio Grande-Rio Bravo (RGB) Regional Pilot Area

The Rio Grande-Rio Bravo (RGB) NACSP Regional Pilot Area will develop and deliver drought-based climate services in order to assist water resource managers, agricultural interests, and other constituents within the basin as they respond to future drought events and build capacity to respond to other climate extremes. Objectives of this activity are:

  • Observations and Monitoring: Assess and enhance the distribution and quality of regional observational climate networks
  • North American Drought Monitor: Improve the overall awareness and effectiveness of this product in the RGB
  • Outlooks and Forecasts: Enhance collaboration on existing operational climate outlook and prediction products
  • Drought Impacts: Enhance the ability of North America to monitor and report on impacts from drought

1 RGB Products

Current and Past Rio Grande/Rio Bravo (RGB) Climate Impacts and Outlook report (English and Spanish)

Led by the Climate Assessment of the Southwest (CLIMAS) and prepared as part of the RGB regional pilot project for the North American Climate Services Partnership (NACSP), this quarterly publication synthesizes recent, current, and near-term forecasted conditions on both sides of the U.S. and Mexico borders.

2 RGB Activities

  • First Regional NIHHIS Rio Grande/Bravo Workshop in El Paso, Texas: On July 13th 2016, the National Integrated Heat Health Information System held its first regional workshop in El Paso (during an active heat wave and under threat of rolling blackouts) to understand the heat-health needs and unique adaptive approaches of the Rio Grande/Bravo region. The interdisciplinary set of participants was engaged in plenary and breakouts to understand the existing interventions and capacity, information and research needs, and to set an agenda for resilience to extreme heat going forward. Local news outlets also featured the workshop, which was open to all local heat health practitioners, and conducted interviews with several of the participants. The full report-out of the workshop can be found here.
  • Rio Grande/Rio Bravo (RGB) Climate Scenarios Workshop: On September 10-11, 2014, 25 scientists and natural resource managers met at the offices of the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC), in El Paso, Texas, to use strategic scenario planning techniques to gain insights into environmental and natural resources planning under conditions of high uncertainty. Participants developed four preliminary scenarios, which focused on uncertainties in the amount and timing of future precipitation; the degree to which future cooperation between stakeholders amplifies or moderates future environmental challenges; and the degree to which implementation of management actions is based on correct scientific understanding of future environmental changes.

3 RGB Partners

  1. NOAA's National Climatic Data Center - NCDC ( )
  2. Climate Assessment for the Southwest - CLIMAS, University of Arizona (
  3. Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program - SCIPP (
  4. Mexico's Meteorological Service - SMN (
  5. Mexico's National Water Commission - CONAGUA (
  6. The National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS):
  7. National Drought Mitigation Center - NDMC (
  8. Desert Landscape Conservation Cooperative - DLCC (
  9. International Boundary and Water Commission - IBWC (
  10. World Wildlife Fund - WWF (


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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 2017, the United States experienced a record-tying 16 climate- and weather-related disasters where overall costs reached or exceeded $1 billion. Combined, these events claimed 362 lives, and had significant economic effects on the areas impacted, costing more than $306 billion. Businesses, policy leaders, resource managers and citizens are increasingly asking for information to help them address such challenges.