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Resilience Tools for Hawai'i: The Hawai'i Rangeland Information Portal (H-RIP)

Over the past few decades, drought duration and severity have increased significantly, resulting in over $80 million in agricultural relief across the Hawaiian Islands (Fraizer et al., 2022). During drought, ranchers face significant challenges associated with the loss of pasture and forage resources, such as increased costs for supplemental feed, increased cattle mortality, and reduced calving rates. One persistent hurdle ranchers face is the lack of timely and accurate drought-related information, which is essential for proactive management decisions. The Hawai'i Rangeland Information Portal (H-RIP) aims to bridge this gap. 

H-RIP (beta) is a powerful decision support tool that empowers ranchers with actionable climate and forage growth insights. H-RIP serves as a hub for four key services:

1. Real-Time Weather and Drought Updates: The portal delivers real-time, site specific, weather data and drought conditions. 

2. Site-Specific Drought Outlooks: Using predictive insights of El Niño phases, H-RIP provides drought outlooks for the coming 1-3 months tailored to the needs of individual ranches.

3. Decision Support for Site-Stability: A decision support tool on forage growth based on drought outlook for the next 3-6 months. 

4. Historical Drought and Rainfall Patterns: H-RIP also offers a historical view of drought events and rainfall trends, which is critical for long-term strategic planning.

The development of H-RIP has been a collaborative endeavor, integrating scientific expertise from the East-West Center and the University of Hawai'i, extension agents, and invaluable feedback from ranchers. The input from ranchers, in particular, ensures that H-RIP remains responsive and valuable for evolving needs. 

While still in its beta stage,  the H-RIP team is working diligently to launch the tool next Spring 2024. 

To learn more about H-RIP and other drought-related tools and resources, visit the Pacific Drought Knowledge Exchange (PDKE) site. 

Be sure also to check out this podcast episode on Livestock Wala'au, featuring Dr. Ryan Longman discussing H-RIP and other PDKE efforts. 


Frazier, A.G.; Giardina, C.P.; Giambelluca, T.W.; Brewington, L.; Chen, Y.-L.; Chu, P.-S.; Berio Fortini, L.; Hall, D.; Helweg, D.A.; Keener, V.W.; et al. A Century of Drought in Hawai‘i: Geospatial Analysis and Synthesis across Hydrological, Ecological, and Socioeconomic Scales. Sustainability 2022, 14, 12023.