Event Title

Drought in Utah: Learning from the Past— Preparing for the Future

Presenter Information

Brian R. King

Location

ECC 203

Event Website

http://water.usu.edu/htm/conference/past-spring-runoff-conferences

Start Date

5-4-2007 1:50 PM

End Date

5-4-2007 2:10 PM

Description

Drought in Utah is a common occurrence and has given rise to various issues, from environmental to societal stresses. This natural phenomenon brings with it impacts that may take years to fully develop and similarly years to fully overcome. Water in Utah is a limited resource and drought only amplifies this truism. Water development projects and wise management practices are an integral part of Utah’s burgeoning growth and appeal. As the population continues to grow, so too does the demand for water. This growth can potentially increase the state’s vulnerability to drought and result in economically upsetting consequences. In many cases, current management of drought is based upon a response-oriented methodology, which can be a rather costly and sometimes ineffective approach. Management of drought, in general, needs to change from a response-oriented methodology to one of mitigation. Drought in Utah: Learning from the Past—Preparing for the Future emphasizes the need to plan and implement mitigation strategies–actions taken to diversify and ensure a reliable water supply before a drought occurs—in order to satisfy future water demand during periods of drought. Many water suppliers, such as Salt Lake City, have already taken measures to diversify their water supplies. This document reinforces such actions. It highlights droughts of the past 111 years (the time since weather conditions have been monitored—instrumental record) and compares these droughts with droughts of the notso-distant past and ancient droughts (pre-weather monitoring—paleoclimatic record) in order to expand current understanding of drought’s natural variability and potential future impacts. It suggests possible mitigation strategies that could be employed and stresses the importance of proactively managing drought using a “risk” management (mitigation) based methodology rather than traditional “crisis” management (response) practices. This document is intended to be a reference to local water planners, managers and decision-makers as they strive to meet water challenges during drought. It will also be of help to those in the general public who are interested in making greater contributions to water-related decisions being made by local, state and federal government officials regarding drought.

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Apr 5th, 1:50 PM Apr 5th, 2:10 PM

Drought in Utah: Learning from the Past— Preparing for the Future

ECC 203

Drought in Utah is a common occurrence and has given rise to various issues, from environmental to societal stresses. This natural phenomenon brings with it impacts that may take years to fully develop and similarly years to fully overcome. Water in Utah is a limited resource and drought only amplifies this truism. Water development projects and wise management practices are an integral part of Utah’s burgeoning growth and appeal. As the population continues to grow, so too does the demand for water. This growth can potentially increase the state’s vulnerability to drought and result in economically upsetting consequences. In many cases, current management of drought is based upon a response-oriented methodology, which can be a rather costly and sometimes ineffective approach. Management of drought, in general, needs to change from a response-oriented methodology to one of mitigation. Drought in Utah: Learning from the Past—Preparing for the Future emphasizes the need to plan and implement mitigation strategies–actions taken to diversify and ensure a reliable water supply before a drought occurs—in order to satisfy future water demand during periods of drought. Many water suppliers, such as Salt Lake City, have already taken measures to diversify their water supplies. This document reinforces such actions. It highlights droughts of the past 111 years (the time since weather conditions have been monitored—instrumental record) and compares these droughts with droughts of the notso-distant past and ancient droughts (pre-weather monitoring—paleoclimatic record) in order to expand current understanding of drought’s natural variability and potential future impacts. It suggests possible mitigation strategies that could be employed and stresses the importance of proactively managing drought using a “risk” management (mitigation) based methodology rather than traditional “crisis” management (response) practices. This document is intended to be a reference to local water planners, managers and decision-makers as they strive to meet water challenges during drought. It will also be of help to those in the general public who are interested in making greater contributions to water-related decisions being made by local, state and federal government officials regarding drought.

http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/runoff/2007/AllAbstracts/20