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Thank you to everyone who attended the 11th Annual Salt Lake County Watershed Symposium! This free two-day conference encourages a comprehensive review of the current state of our watershed while creating learning opportunities for a diverse array of stakeholders. Sessions covered a broad range of topics on water quality and watershed issues with local, regional, and national relevance. Hosted by Salt Lake County Watershed Planning & Restoration.

Powerpoints and audio recordings are available.  Click on a session and scroll down to the attached files.
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Wednesday, November 15 • 11:20am - 11:50am
Partnering to Build Effective Drought Early Warning Systems

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Partnering to Build Effective Drought Early Warning Systems

This presentation focuses on support provided to Utah and to the nation by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Integrated Drought Information System and the Western Water Assessment for more effective drought mitigation and drought response planning.

Full Abstract:
Drought is a significant threat to the economy, to municipal and industrial water supplies, and to social and environmental resilience. In the West, increasing population threatens limited and variable water resources and will push drought to the forefront of water issues. The cyclical nature of drought guarantees that Utah will experience drought in the future, so a pro-active risk reduction approach to drought is a critical priority. This presentation focuses on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), which was created in 2006 by public law to catalyze drought research and systematic planning for more effective drought mitigation and response. NIDIS is mandated to provide drought early warning systems (DEWS) that support decision-makers, the private sector, and communities to establish and strengthen a pro-active, coordinated approach to prepare for and reduce risks of future droughts. DEWS build on and leverage existing local, state, academic, regional, and national partnerships and networks. A key NIDIS partner is NOAA’s Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA), a network that includes Western Water Assessment (WWA), which provides climate information, analyses and original research to support decision-makers in the Intermountain West. In this presentation, Elizabeth Weight (NOAA/NIDIS) and Seth Arens (WWA) will share information on NIDIS, DEWS, and WWA research that supports drought preparedness in Utah.


Seth Arens

Utah Research Integration Specialist, Western Water Assessment
Seth Arens has served as the Utah Research Integration Specialist for Western Water Assessment since 2015. He has a diverse background in science, including research experience in ecosystem and plant physiological ecology, snow hydrology and atmospheric science. From 2010 to 2015... Read More →

Elizabeth Weight

Regional Drought Information Coordinator, National Integrated Drought Information System, NOAA
Elizabeth Weight is the Regional Drought Information Coordinator for the Intermountain West and Southern Plains Drought Early Warning Systems of NOAA's National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS). Prior to joining NIDIS, Elizabeth worked with research institutes and non-profit... Read More →

Wednesday November 15, 2017 11:20am - 11:50am MST
Lower Level: Ballroom C