The National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) traveled to Washington State for a RMA drought informational workshop that highlighted the decision support and risk management tools and projects that the NDMC maintains. The workshop focused more on the overall RMA tools, with the Drought Impact Reporter (DIR), VegDRI, VegOut, and The GreenLeaf Project (a collaborative RMA project between the NDMC and University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Computer Science and Engineering Center). Participants represented producers, ranchers, media personnel, the Spokane County Conservation District (SCCD), RMA, and the National Weather Service (NWS). The workshop also included participation and a presentation from Oregon State University on irrigation scheduling methods which is also a RMA grant funded project. Other local presentations included an overview of the recent climate conditions from the National Weather Service office out of Spokane and also a presentation by the SCCD which centered on an overview of Washington State’s Revolving Insurance Funds.
The NDMC included the use of the audience response system and a public participation “sticky” wall to stimulate greater discussions and to also gain more feedback specifically for the DIR and VegDRI projects. Individuals had a positive initial impression of the overall value of VegDRI. They also indicated that they would be likely to use VegDRI to assist them in making management decisions, especially in drought mitigation measures and in emergency management situations. VegDRI would also be useful for irrigation district managers to verify who is being over or under served, for general drought planning, and historical drought analysis.