Drought areas to receive aid from reauthorized National Integrated Drought Information System
In response to the drought in California, the most severe the state has seen in over a century, President Barak Obama has signed the National Integrated Drought Information System Reauthorization Act.
Developed in 2006, the National Integrated Drought Information System is a federal rescource center providing timely forecasts about drought severity, as well as offering affected communities assistance, according to Tech Times. Now reauthorized, the system’s early warning systems, drought monitoring and weather predictive services will be fully funded through 2018.
Local governments depend on the early-warning services, as do farmers and businesses, Tech Times reports. With information on how dry the coming weeks and months will be, municipal leaders can plan water regulations, farmers can irrigate accordingly and businesses can ensure supplies are plentiful.
According to a White House press release, Obama’s administration believes the program is needed now more than ever, in light of climate change and extreme weather patterns world-wide. “As climate change increases the intensity of weather-related disasters such as droughts, wildfires, storms and floods, providing access to updated drought-related science and tools is growing even more important,” the president wrote in a statement.
In addition to water usage, the act will help community leaders make informed decisions on crop management, wildfire response and other critical areas, rural news source RFD-TV reports.
As part of the president’s Climate Action Plan, federal agencies have also formed a National Drought Resilience Partnership to complement the National Integrated Drought Information System, according to White House materials. Of the partnership between federal and state governments, the president wrote, “The program will help communities prepare for droughts in the long term, and prevent the worst impacts on families and businesses.”
Obama commended congress for passing the bipartisan bill, which he wrote will help build the nation’s resilience and ensure communities will be prepared for the worst.