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INTEROP: Developing Community-based DRought Information Network Protocols and Tools for Multidisciplinary Regional Scale Applications (DRInet)

INTEROP: Developing Community-based DRought Information Network<br/>Protocols and Tools for Multidisciplinary Regional Scale Applications<br/>(DRInet)<br/>Purdue Universtiy<br/><br/>Drought is a slow-acting natural hazard characterized by critical water shortages with far-reaching consequences. The National Drought Policy Act of 1998 and the follow-on National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) legislation of 2006 indicate the immense importance of good drought information. Evidence suggests that a drought has many impacts, which can be categorized as economic, environmental, or social:<br/>- Regional air quality (possibly increasing ozone levels, dust, and biogenic emissions),<br/>- Plant disease potential (by making plants more vulnerable to certain diseases and rusts),<br/>- Human health (both through substandard water and in some cases dust and other emissions),<br/>- Reduced crop, rangeland, and forest productivity,<br/>- Increased fire hazard and indirectly insurance rates,<br/>- Reduced water levels and access to recreation,<br/>- Increased livestock and wildlife mortality rates,<br/>- Direct and indirect impact on regional economy,<br/>- Higher cost of living due to increased prices for food and timber and unemployment,<br/>- Reduced regional tax revenues because of reduced expenditures,<br/>- Increased crime, and foreclosures on bank loans to farmers and businesses, and<br/>- Migration and reduced living worthiness of a region.<br/><br/>Drought maps and information on the intensity, geographic extent, and duration of meteorological, agricultural, and hydrological droughts draw users ranging from farmers to scientists. While drought mapping nationally has been standardized through the U.S. Drought Monitor, local and regional scale interpretation is still evolving. Relevant data are generated by different scientific domains and qualitative information from a number of sources on factors such as ground impacts, timing of a drought, and regional vulnerability or resilience also factors into analyses. However, all this data is not currently interoperable for sharing and comparison for different stakeholders, nor is it optimally integrated to characterize drought risks and user decisions in real time. It is not easy to access information for risk mitigation at the watershed, county, or farm levels.<br/><br/>Purdue University is developing a regional drought information web portal, DRInet, which will be a focal point for collecting, synthesizing and disseminating local- to regional-scale drought-related datasets and commentary in a systematic, retrievable way. DRInet will provide a basis for the community to better assess and accommodate droughts and drought impacts. By formalizing data and information exchange, DRInet puts drought data, drought forecasts, and the analysis of causal factors for droughts into an interoperable framework that allows new dialogues between different disciplines and so creates novel opportunities for research and economic well being. DRInet also provides a means for interfacing with the community for assessing drought triggers, evaluating possible causal factors for short-term and long-term drought evolution, delineating the impact on the drought monitor network, and developing novel linkages with stakeholders for applications related to drought impacts on air quality, water quality, economic forecasts, plant disease etc. DRInet will enable farmers to use the local drought data, soil condition and weather forecasts to decide when and how intensely to irrigate. Other constituencies interested in accurate drought data include climatologists, hydrologists, county extension educators and town managers, economists, agriculture experts, policy makers, media, and the commodity market, each wanting to use drought data for their particular purposes.<br/><br/>DRInet will benefit from community participation including those from National Drought Mitigation Center, University of Nebraska Lincoln; National Water and Climate Center, NRCS, Portland; NOAA Central Region Climate Focal Point; Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India; International Center for Water Resources Management, Central State University, Wilberforce, Ohio; Agriculture and Natural Resource (ANR) Program, Purdue University Cooperative Extension Services and Indiana State Climate Office; and the Midwest Regional Climate Partners ? University of Illinois, Western Kentucky University, Ohio State University, Michigan State University, University of Wisconsin.

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