Recent droughts, calls for action by regional, national, and international organizations, and the availability of model plans have stimulated considerable activity in the development of drought contingency plans by state government in the United States. In 1982 only three states had prepared formal drought plans; currently 23 states have completed plans. These planning efforts have often been conducted in conjunction with a state's overall water management planning initiative. Clearly, states can now be labeled as policy innovators in the field of drought planning. The atmospheric science community should play a prominent role in the planning process at all levels of government.

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1Published as Paper No. 9445, Journal Series, Nebraska Agricultural Research Division. The work reported here was conducted under Nebraska Agricultural Research Division Project 27-007.