The Obama Administration on Friday released plans for a new interagency governmental partnership that is intended to help communities prepare for future droughts.
The National Drought Resilience Partnership is a response to requests from communities, businesses, and farmers and ranchers. USDA says the partnership will make it easier to access Federal drought resources and will help link information such as monitoring, forecasts, outlooks, and early warnings with longer-term drought resilience strategies in critical sectors such as agriculture, municipal water systems, energy, recreation, tourism and manufacturing.
In its first year, USDA said the partnership will:
-focus on creating a new, web-based portal to ease access to Federal agency drought recovery resources;
-host more frequent regional drought outlook forums that provide access to experts and locally relevant information;
-support the coordination of a national soil moisture monitoring network to help improve monitoring and forecasting drought conditions;
-and identify a single point of contact for the public.
The partnership will also undertake a pilot project in a western area hard hit by drought to create a local-scale drought resilience plan that could be applied in other areas, USDA said.