The National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is part of an international project to improve understanding of how drought affects communities, the environment and the economy, and what people can do to prepare.
Researchers from the NDMC, the Hydrology department at the University of Freiburg, the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in Wallingford, England, the Open University in Milton Keyes, England, and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in Australia jointly received one of the inaugural grants in 2013 from the Belmont Forum. They met in Freiburg, Germany, in January 2014, officially kicking off the DrIVER project, which stands for Drought Impacts: Vulnerability thresholds in monitoring and Early-warning Research.
NDMC investigators are Cody Knutson, who leads the NDMC’s Planning and Social Science program area, and Mark Svoboda, who heads the NDMC’s Monitoring program area. The drought center will receive about half a million dollars over three years, 2013-2016, for its portion of the project.
The researchers in the U.S., Australia and the European Union will compare indicators of physical drought with data on drought impacts to inform the development of enhanced drought monitoring and early warning systems. They will also use scenario-based “drought games” at workshops in selected locations to analyze decision-making, including use of monitoring and early warning systems, related to drought. The workshops will focus on water supply security, conflicts and trade-offs between human and environmental use, and will involve major water suppliers, regulators and other interest groups. Conducting similar workshops on three different continents will help researchers identify general principals as well as specific considerations that may apply under different circumstances.
See presentation by collaborators Sophie Bachmair, Kerstin Stahl, Irene Kohn, and Viet Blauhut.
See NDMC News story from January 2014 kick-off meeting