Western Governors’ Drought Forum Resources


Find resources from the Western Governors' Drought Forum below.

Drought Forum Year-One Report: Executive Summary

Read the Executive Summary of the Western Governors' Drought Forum Year-One Report. 

Science Brief: How Drought Affects Air Quality

The U.S. Drought Monitor classifies current drought conditions across the nation by consolidating information from drought indicators, water data, and local observations into a comprehensive national map. Learn how

Science Brief: Creating the U.S. Drought Monitor

“Drought” evokes images of dried up lakes and rivers. It doesn’t often conjure up images of poor air quality. But a lack of water can affect regional air quality in a number of ways, too. Find out why

Nevada Drought Forum

Building on the success from the first year of the Western Governors' Drought Forum, Governor Sandoval established the Nevada Drought Forum to bring together stakeholders and water managers across the state to assess the drought in Nevada, identify best practices and policy needs, and make next step recommendations to the Governor. 

Snow Monitoring Programs

Measuring Snow to Predict Water Supply: Snow survey data provides critical information on snow pack conditions and projected water availability to water managers throughout the West.

Want to learn more about how snow data is collected and used to forecast water supply? Watch this video on the Snow Survey Program produced by the United States Department of Agriculture. 

NASA Airborne Snow Observatory

NASA, in partnership with the California Department of Water Resources, developed the Airborne Snow Observatory to measure snow water equivalent and albedo using an airplane mounted imaging spectrometer and scanning lidar system.

Drought Mapping

Mapping the extent of drought is critical to helping water managers make on-the-ground decisions regarding water resource management, allocation and curtailment. Regional drought mapping, in concert with other data assimilation, helps portray the scope and magnitude of drought conditions. Below is a sample of mapping products available to guide water management decisions.

United States Drought Monitor: A summary of conditions across the United States.

Drought Risk Atlas: A tool to visualize and assess drought risk via historical drought information.

Western Landscapes Explorer: This GIS-based map viewer allows users to explore data and maps related to water, wildlife, soil characteristics, and land ownership.

United States Seasonal Drought Outlook: Provides a seasonal outlook on drought conditions across the country based on large scale trends.

Drought Impact Reporter: This interactive mapping tool is the only nationwide, multi-source archive of drought impact information.

VegDRI: The Vegetation Drought Response Index is a bi-weekly depiction of vegetation stress across the contiguous United States.

Drought Indices BlendingA set of experimental maps that blend various drought indices, precipitation amounts and soil moisture conditions to display both long-term and short-term drought conditions across the United States. 

Google Earth EngineThe Google Earth Engine brings together over 40 years of Landsat satellite imagery to map trends in land use and water resource availability. 


The American Water Works Association report "2014 Water Shortage Preparedness Report" reflects analysis of 485 water utility responses to a survey regarding utility practices and policies for water shortage planning and implementation.  

The Western Governors’ Drought Forum initiative is being conducted in partnership with NOAA’s National Integrated Drought Information System


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