The Drought Impact Reporter is an interactive web-based mapping tool designed to compile and display impact information across the United States in near real-time from a variety of sources such as media, government agencies, and the public. Launched in July 2005, this tool is the only nationwide, multi-source archive of drought impact information.
Sponsors: U.S. Department of Agriculture's Risk Management Agency; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's TRACS program
Why Track Drought Impacts?
Drought is a slow-moving natural hazard that affects millions of people worldwide each year. The meteorological phenomenon triggers a cascade of impacts across agricultural, hydrological, economic, environmental and social systems. Understanding these impacts is crucial for drought planning, mitigation, and response. It also helps decision makers identify and reduce vulnerability to drought.
Sources of Impact Information
Information within the Drought Impact Reporter is collected from a variety of sources including the media, government agencies and reports, and citizen observers. Each of these source provides different types of information at different spatial and temporal scales.
The Drought Impact Reporter allows anyone to submit a drought impact. All public contributions are moderated before appearing on the website, and moderators request additional information as needed.
The NDMC is currently working on the next version of the Drought Impact Reporter. This upgrade will include many enhancements, including: 1) More user-friendly design and enhanced search and mapping functionality. 2) Distinguishing between “reports” and “impacts,” which will track early awareness of drought before a quantifiable impact occurs. 3) A systematic media sample, to enable quantitative analyses of media coverage of drought.
The new Drought Impact Reporter will also incorporate drought information collected by local CoCoRaHS observers across the U.S., and the NDMC is working with officials in Hawaii and Arizona to better incorporate local impact information.