Southwest Drought Learning Network

August 2018 Drought in the Southwest as mapped by the US Drought Monitor

More than 30 resource managers and drought service providers convened in Las Cruces, New Mexico in February 2020 to envision a regional drought learning network.

Las Cruces

The severe 2018 drought centered on the Four Corners brought into sharp focus the need for more proactive drought planning in the southwest region. More than 30 resource managers and drought service providers convened in Las Cruces, New Mexico in February to envision a regional drought learning network. A pre-workshop survey administered by the National Drought Mitigation Center to resource managers indicated 95% of the 60 respondents are interested in accessing information about best practices and lessons learned by other resource managers during recent drought. About half of the respondents have drought management lessons learned that they would be willing to share with others. This project involves partnership with many service providers at the federal, state and local levels.

Throughout 2020, drought adaptation teams will test the prototype drought learning network centered on five focal areas:

  1. Sharing projections for management decisions: Climate service providers and resource managers will endeavor to foster knowledge co-production, ensuring that information to support decision-making flows smoothly both to and from service providers.
  2. Building a database of case studies and best practices: Build upon an existing case study database to author and deliver lessons learned to support peer-to-peer learning.
  3. Developing weather and climate resources for pueblos in New Mexico: Support peer-to-peer learning among Pueblos in NM, including webinars and a precipitation monitoring workshop in 2020.
  4. Supporting new and small farmers: Develop or enhancing existing peer-to-peer efforts for new and small farmers to improve drought resilience and preparedness.
  5. Enhancing drought response in Utah: Addressing water scarcity, drought management and decision support in Utah, hosting at least one drought monitor workshop for resource managers in 2020.

Please contact Caiti Steele (caiti@nmsu.edu) for more information about the 2020 drought adaptation topics and to join a team.