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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Range Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #397586

Research Project: Science and Technologies for the Sustainable Management of Western Rangeland Systems

Location: Range Management Research

Title: Southwest Drought Learning Network

item Elias, Emile
item FUCHS, BRIAN - National Drought Mitigation Center
item LISONBEE, JOEL - National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
item BERNADT, TONYA - National Drought Mitigation Center
item MARTINEZ, VIKTORYA - New Mexico State University
item HAIGH, TONYA - National Drought Mitigation Center

Submitted to: Proceedings of the American Meteorological Society Conference on Weather Analysis and Forecasting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/30/2022
Publication Date: 8/30/2022
Citation: Elias, E.H., Fuchs, B., Lisonbee, J., Bernadt, T., Martinez, V., Haigh, T. 2022. Southwest Drought Learning Network. Proceedings of the American Meteorological Society Conference on Weather Analysis and Forecasting. Abstract.

Interpretive Summary: This abstract and talk describe how the Southwest Drought Learning Network advances drought resilience through partnership.

Technical Abstract: Where the ultimate goal of this session is to ensure the weather, water, climate, and agricultural communities have useful and usable information on climate change and its impacts when making strategic and operational management decisions. The Intermountain West Drought Early Warning System (DEWS) has been working very closely with the Southwest Climate Hub and National Drought Mitigation Center to do just that. One salient example of this collaboration can be seen in the work of the Southwest Drought Learning Network.  The 2018 exceptional drought over the Colorado Plateau motivated unprecedented responses by individuals and organizations. Climate service providers supporting and observing these responses realized that fundamental to future drought resilience is a network to document and share drought responses including the efficacy of those responses. Resource managers needed a forum to learn from peers and climate service providers about drought response. Climate service providers and resource managers met in February 2020 to envision a southwest drought learning network. Since then the network has grown into five organized teams focused on specific aspects of building drought resilience including sharing management practices, drought in agriculture, indigenous collaboration, identifying decision-relevant information and drought impact reporting. Each team works individually on activities, while also supporting other teams and the overarching goals of the whole network. Team activities include sharing case studies via the Collaborative Conservation and Adaptation Strategy Toolbox to help others learn from past experiences; hosting monthly drought briefings on current and expected conditions; facilitating webinars introducing drought-related tools and resources; identifying information needed to support critical management decisions; and innovating and sharing new and traditional drought monitoring technologies; and building drought resilience in indigenous communities. The network allows for collaboration and leveraging partner resources and strengths, ultimately enhancing regional drought resilience.  The DLN website ( hosts more information about network teams and activities. This innovative network continues to grow in response to management needs and water scarcity in the Southwest United States.