NOAA Provides Expertise at "Water Policies & Planning in the West" Conference


October 4, 2007

Roger Pulwarty, Director of NOAA's National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), will participate as a working group leader, panelist, and speaker at the Western Governors Association/Western States Water Council Conference: "Water Policies and Planning in the West: Ensuring a Sustainable Future," 10-12 October 2007, in Salt Lake City, UT. The purpose of the conference is to develop policy options and identify case studies relating to water planning to deal with challenges resulting from growth, effective watershed approaches to water planning, and responding to climate change and drought impacts. Dr. Pulwarty will lead a working group session on Climate Services, and serve on a Climate Change and Water Planning panel where he will also present a talk entitled, "Climate and climate change in the West." The panel will discuss the scientific perspective of climate change and its implications with a focus on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 4th Assessment. The panel will also feature a discussion on potential adaptation strategies.

Background:
The Western Governors' Association is a non-partisan organization of governors of western U.S. states whose mission is to address important policy and governance issues in the West. They also develop policy and carry out programs in the areas of natural resources, the environment, human services, economic development, international relations and state. In 2004, the Western Governors unanimously adopted the report entitled, “Creating a Drought Early Warning System for the 21st Century: The National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS). NIDIS is hosted at the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Physical Sciences Division where researchers there are instrumental in providing climate information to support implementation of NIDIS, and in developing the NIDIS Implementation Plan.

Significance:
With growing changes in demands on limited water resources, state and local governments must try to assess and understand a wide spectrum of information in order to make water management decisions. By providing scientific information and resources on drought and climate change, NOAA helps inform decision-makers in order to reduce environmental and economic impacts.

Contact: Roger Pulwarty