NIDIS is pleased to share our 2021 Annual Report to provide insight into the many accomplishments of the program over the previous year and the opportunities that lie ahead. In 2021, during another difficult year for drought across the West, the results of these investments were on display, bringing vital response resources to drought impacted communities. We relaunched the U.S. Drought Portal in January, kicking off a year marked by enhanced access to localized, actionable drought information. In February, NIDIS released findings from the successful Flash Drought Workshop and identified several near-term priorities for researchers and decision-makers in flash drought-prone areas. With partners across NOAA’s National Weather Service and National Centers for Environmental Information, as well as the USDA Climate Hubs, Regional Climate Centers, State Climatologists, and others, we released timely early warning announcements including alerts that were sent to 40,000 water rights holders across California. These regionally coordinated drought messages throughout the year helped decision makers, the media, and the public understand local conditions, forecasts, impacts, and relevant research and resources.
In June, we proudly released a Strategy for the National Coordinated Soil Moisture Monitoring Network, a multi-agency effort that will strengthen extreme weather early warning systems, improve flood and drought forecasts, and strengthen climate models. In July, NIDIS joined with our federal, state, tribal, and local partners to host a drought webinar specifically for western communities and featuring perspectives from those on the ground responding to worsening drought conditions. And in September, we hosted a 4-day Southwest Drought Forum, focused on long-term implications of drought in the Southwestern United States. We rounded out the year with the launch of an ACF River Basin Drought and Water Dashboard, delivering upon our 2019 reauthorization mandate to deliver localized and watershed scale drought information. The year ahead does not appear to offer respite from the need for these services, but NIDIS and our partners are well positioned to meet the challenges ahead.
Inside this report, you will see how we are advancing these and other national initiatives, as well as implementing on-the-ground activities across our eight regional Drought Early Warning Systems.
For more information, contact Adam Lang.