I thank the 19 state drought managers for valuable contributions to this study, and collaborators including Dan Cayan, Kelly Redmond, Ed Miles, Melissa Finucane, Brad Udall, Gregg Garfin, Dan White, Michael Hayes, James Verdin, and Roger Pulwarty. I also thank Kelly Redmond, Michael Hayes, Dan Cayan, Jeanine Jones, Amy Davis, and two referees for their very helpful reviews. This study received support from the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean (JISAO) under NOAA Cooperative Agreement No. NA17RJ1232, Contribution No. 14795, and from the California-Nevada Applications Program (CNAP), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration grant NA11OAR4310150.
FOR FURTHER READING
National Climatic Data Center, 2013: Billion-Dollar Weather/Climate Disasters. [Available online at www.ncdc.noaa.gov/billions.]
National Integrated Drought Information System, 2013: U.S. Drought Portal: “What is NIDIS?” [Available online at www.drought.gov/drought/content/what-nidis.]
National Integrated Drought Information System, 2006: National Integrated Drought Information System Act of 2006. Public Law 109-430, 15 U.S.C. 311; 15 U.S.C. 313d. [Available online at www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-109publ430/pdf/PLAW-109publ430.pdf.]
Steinemann, A., , and L. Cavalcanti, 2006: Developing multiple indicators and triggers for drought plans. J. Water Resour. Plan. Manage., 132, 164–174, doi:10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9496(2006)132:3(164).
Steinemann, A., , M. Hayes, , and L. Cavalcanti, 2005: Drought indicators and triggers. Drought and Water Crises: Science, Technology, and Management Issues, D. Wilhite , Ed., CRC Press, 71–92.
1This article uses the term “state drought managers” to refer to individuals with responsibilities for statewide decisions regarding drought.
2The survey included telephone interviews with the designated drought manager in each state and analysis of state drought plans. The interview instrument contained 50 structured and semistructured questions. Interviews lasted approximately one hour each, and resulted collectively in more than 2,000 pieces of data and interview quotations, which were coded, analyzed, and validated, using standard qualitative research methods. Interviews were conducted during November 2011–January 2012. Managers were experienced, with a median of 20 years in their current or related position. The survey instrument can be obtained by contacting the author.
4These assessments were in response to the questions: “What would you estimate to be the costs of drought in a typical drought year?” and “If you had better early warning information, what percentage of those costs could be reduced?”
5Indicators are typically based on meteorological and hydrological variables, such as precipitation and streamflow, but can be based on any variable that influences drought, such as economics and regulations, or that relates to drought impacts, such as extent of fallowed land.
6Triggers should specify the indicator value or drought level, time period, spatial scale, and whether for drought progressing or receding (see Steinemann et al. 2005).
7To evaluate indicator effectiveness, while criteria may vary, a general concept is whether the indicator would provide decision-making value, such as early warning and sound guidance for reducing drought impacts.
8Among the 16 plans, the most common indicators were the PDSI, SPI, and SWSI (in 14, 12, and 8 plans, respectively).
9Percentiles can be calculated in different ways; albeit not all indicator data are amenable to percentile calculations.