NIDIS Regional Drought Early Warning Systems

When the US Congress passed the NIDIS Act in 2006 (Public Law 118-36), the goal of the national integrated drought information system (NIDIS) was to enable the nation to move toward a more proactive drought risk management approach. The act had three main objectives related to drought early warning: (1) provide effective drought early warning systems reflective of local, regional, and state differences; (2) coordinate and integrate, as practicable, federal research in support of a drought early warning system; and (3) build upon existing forecasting and assessment programs and partnerships. To accomplish these objectives, NIDIS has been tasked with coordinating efforts to improve drought early warning. NIDIS is led by NOAA, but its governance structure and various working groups include representatives of other federal, state, tribal, local, and regional agencies, as well as representatives of academic and private entities.

In order to establish drought early warning across the United States, NIDIS has developed a network of regional drought early warning systems

(RDEWS) to focus on regional issues, sectors, and stakeholders most affected by droughts in that region. Descriptions and a map of the existing RDEWS are highlighted in Chapter 15, which provides more details about the Missouri River Basin RDEWS.

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