The Western Governors’ Association (WGA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding today (June 9, 2014) in Colorado Springs that renews and strengthens collaboration on drought and flood preparedness.
The purpose of the new MOU is to improve the development, coordination and dissemination of drought and extreme weather data, information and analysis in support of resource management decisions in Western states.
The agreement was signed in a ceremony during the opening day of the 2014 WGA Annual Meeting in Colorado Springs by NOAA Administrator Dr. Kathryn Sullivan and WGA Chairman and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.
"The droughts and wildfires across our nation's western states directly, or indirectly, affect us all,” said Dr. Sullivan. “NOAA is working, along with our partners like the WGA and governors, to ensure that people have the environmental intelligence they need to be prepared to tackle threats from drought and wildfires. From weather and water forecasts to climate analyses and predictions, demand for NOAA's data is greater than ever, as western businesses and citizens plan for what is likely to be a very dry summer."
The parties will work to ensure that collection and sharing of crucial drought, flooding and extreme weather-related data and
information are improved and sustained. This may include soil moisture monitoring in the Missouri River Basin and snowpack monitoring in the Mountain West and coastal watersheds.
“I never met anyone who ran for Governor because he or she wanted to be the state’s chief emergency services manager,” said Jim Ogsbury, WGA Executive Director. “But that is one of the roles that Governors perform. In renewing this Memorandum of Understanding with NOAA, Western Governors are working to ensure that they have the data and analysis they need for an informed response to drought, flooding, and wildfire.”
The partnership will also support the Western Governors’ Drought Forum, an initiative of incoming WGA Chair Gov. Brian Sandoval.
Read a complete recap of the 2014 WGA Annual Meeting.
Check out a slideshow of photos featuring Governors, special guests and Annual Meeting events.