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Research Project: Uncertainty of Future Water Availability Due to Climate Change and Impacts on the Long Term Sustainability and Resilience of Agricultural Lands in the Southern Great Plains

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Title: Regional drought early warning, impacts, and assessment for water and agriculture in the lower Rio Grande valley, 2016-2017


Submitted to: Grazinglands Research Laboratory Miscellaneous Publication
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/25/2017
Publication Date: 10/23/2017
Citation: Brown, D.P., Kos, L., Shafer, M. 2017. Regional drought early warning, impacts, and assessment for water and agriculture in the lower Rio Grande valley, 2016-2017 [abstract]. 42nd Climate Diagnostics and Prediction Workshop. Available at:

Interpretive Summary: Abstract only

Technical Abstract: USDA’s Southern Plains Climate Hub (SPCH) and the University of Oklahoma’s Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program (SCIPP) contributed to a broad, multi-partnered effort to provide drought early warning information to water and agriculture management interests in the middle and lower Rio Grande basin in 2016 and 2017. In this presentation, we highlight specifically the efforts conducted in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in late 2016 and early 2017. We provide highlights from a series of stakeholder workshops designed around: (1) the provision of timely weather, water, and climate forecasts on a regional basis as well as historical and future contexts for drought; (2) the dissemination of tools and information resources related to drought early warning, preparedness, and education; and (3) the solicitation of expert user perspectives on drought management challenges and strategies. Key outcomes from the workshops included the identification of key physical and social science research questions associated with the impacts of extreme events on water and agriculture, the promotion of regional literacy on weather, water, and climate issues, and the engagement of cross-jurisdictional and transboundary partners and audiences. The workshops further contributed to broad, ongoing regional initiatives, for which SPCH and SCIPP are leaders, to enhance the decision-making capacity of water and agricultural interests through early warning of an extreme event, support implementation of adaptive management strategies, and foster new information networks.