Drought Impacts: Vulnerability thresholds in monitoring and Early-warning Research

Lead Research Organisation: NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
Department Name: Water Resources (Wallingford)

Abstract

Drought events pose a threat to water security in virtually every climate zone and to every water use sector. Although little can be done in the short term to prevent a drought, actions can be taken to reduce the vulnerability of society to the event, including the development of drought monitoring and early warning (M&EW) systems. There have been few attempts to assess how relevant widely-used physical indicators are for capturing drought severity in a way that reflects the complexity of inter-related human and environmental causes, effects and impacts, and such impacts have not been adequately incorporated into existing drought M&EW systems. This project seeks to fill this gap by improving the conceptual and methodological link between natural (hydrometeorological) drought characterisation and environmental and socio-economic impacts, in order to inform the development of enhanced drought M&EW systems and other risk management strategies. An innovative methodological approach will combine the use of hydro-meteorological and socio-economic data, including impact reports, alongside social learning approaches designed to incorporate stakeholders' views and experiences of drought. The team will use existing datasets of drought indices typically incorporated in monitoring systems, but also extensive, yet under-utilized, databases on drought impacts (US Drought Reporter, EU project DROUGHT R&SPI database). In a series of workshops with water suppliers and other stakeholders, the applicability of M&EW systems will be explored in strategy games and the results will feed back into analysis and design. This approach will support the iterative development of novel approaches for targeted M&EW for the case study sector of public water supply. The direct involvement of some partners in operational drought monitoring and robust assessment of the potentials and opportunities under different prerequisites will guarantee the project's impact and thus help move towards the goal of developing new practices enabling communities to build capacity for resilience to drought.

Planned Impact

The DrIVER research will generate a number of different outcomes which will benefit a range of users, some of whom will be engaged directly and benefit directly, and others who will benefit indirectly. Overall, DrIVER has the potential to impact the way we think about and 'do' water science, water management, education and learning strategies, policy development and most importantly transform aspects of drought resilience among communities.

In terms of organizations involved in monitoring, CEH currently hosts the UK National Hydrological Monitoring Programme, a UK-wide focus for drought (and water resources) and also has strong links with the Environment Agency, who conduct appraisals of the water situation in England and Wales and whose responsibility it is to actively manage droughts in those countries. The engagement of CEH in DriVER would thus ensure that future developments in UK drought and water resources monitoring could benefit directly from the findings of DriVER as they develop, and would also ensure that the benefits could reach the other organizations involved in drought management and M&EW in the UK and internationally via these partnerships.

Indirect impacts are expected for M&EW services elsewhere in Europe. The pan-European Drought Observatory by JRC aimed at developing M&EW will also benefit strongly from the synthesis of existing M&EW systems. The cross-country collaboration in DrIVER will ensure that UK and European research and practice benefits from the learning experiences of M&EW in the US and Australia, which already have large-scale M&EW systems. Both these outcomes will be of high utility for further development of more cohesive strategies for M&EW on a large-scale in Europe.

DriVER also has major policy impact potential. DriVER comes at an important time in the UK when the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs is reviewing its abstraction licencing policy and designing its future research plans in environmental flows (work being led by CEH). Likewise CEH played a lead role in the freshwater component of the UK National Ecosystem Assessment, which highlighted the importance of ecosystem processes, functions and services to economic, social and environmental security, and has underpinned UK government environmental policy. DriVER will also enable this work to be extended to cover environmental risk and management during droughts that can be integrated with the development of M&EW systems.

A range of national and local level stakeholders and regulators will also be involved in the social learning events (workshops) and processes associated with Task 3 in particular. The various stakeholders involved directly in the DrIVER research will benefit from their involvement in the workshops and associated activities specified. The workshop design is intentionally not 'extractive' in the more usual sense of researchers extracting information from stakeholders. Instead, we see stakeholders as being part of the learning process (rather than just information store). This will give stakeholders a more positive and proactive role and can contribute, as part of a wider collaborative learning community, to improved policy and practice. We expect each workshop will consist of the following stakeholders: central government (Defra), the water supply companies, regulators (Environment Agency), Natural England, National Farmers Union, River Community Groups and River Trusts, Canal and Rivers Trust, local NGOs. Where possible, we will also invite individual stakeholders who have a clear interest or contribution to understanding drought in the local context. A better-informed public should also lead to a better-informed decision/policy maker.

The fact that our data and value-added information will be made available freely through our web portal, and those of our partners, should allow for transparency that fosters and empowers our constituents.
 
Description The DrIVER project is still underway, and nearing conclusion (May 2017 end date). While most of the analysis and engagement has been finalised, many of the key findings are still only just being published, and the main impacts now being realised. A brief summary of the current situation follows.

Drought monitoring and early warning (M&EW) systems and their integration into drought risk management can reduce society's vulnerability to drought. To date, M&EW systems employ mostly physical drought indicator variables, e.g. precipitation deficit. Few attempts have been made to assess how such indicators reflect the complexity of inter-related human and environmental causes, effects and impacts. This was the starting point for DrIVER.

DrIVER's objectives and related outcomes:

(1) to compare and evaluate reported drought impacts and physical drought indicators where drought M&EW systems exist and are used. DrIVER found that index choices used operationally are mostly guided by data availability; indices on meteorological and agricultural drought are more frequently monitored than hydrological drought and socio-economic or environmental impacts.

(2) aimed to identify and compare thresholds of drought indicators that define the vulnerability of society, ecosystem services and economy in order to better understand the coupled system. Quantitative analyses explored vulnerability thresholds for different impacted sectors and found differences such as agriculture impacts occurring with less delay to the meteorological indicator than water supply impacts; for different regions depending on a particular water supply source, such as surface vs. groundwater; for different drought stages such as onset, peak, termination. River ecosystems alter in response to drought but are resilient and can recover.

Objective (3) was to explore through a series of workshops the capacity of stakeholders, in particular water supply companies, to make drought management decisions. Despite regional differences, stakeholders decision-making was often found to be directed by specific drought plans and organizational requirements setting trigger levels depending on asset states and demand. Although drought impacts were recognized, they were not easily incorporated into decision-making due to a lack of suitable indicators and confidence in reliability. Water management decisions such as drought mitigation measures can also modify the thresholds found in (2). While DRiVER research explored stakeholder decision-making and framings of drought in context, a more detailed assessment of feedbacks with impacts and management decisions is needed.

Objective (4) was to outline pathways to drought resilience based on improved drought M&EW systems to make the necessary link between natural drivers, impacts, drought management and training. High awareness was found among stakeholders about the complex web of impacts. Lacking however is the knowledge about interactions and tools to analyse these and react. Historical analogues and index-impact scenarios were found to be a promising research avenue for resilience building. Reported impacts can be linked to the indicators statistically. DrIVER tested the potential of such empirically derived 'impact functions' and found that where sufficient impact reports are available, the impact function approach could be used to add the likelihood of impact occurrence to the commonly used indices provided by M&EW.

Additional efforts are needed to better monitor and report drought impacts at the local level to provide higher resolution information and better correlations with hydro-meteorological drought indicators. This would also enhance the tracking of drought impacts over time as a result of changing social/ecological dynamics and management strategies that are implemented to reduce drought impacts.

DrIVER work elucidated the links between drought indicators and drought impacts in the case study regions specifically and generally clarified the current state and future potential of drought impact monitoring and prediction. Stakeholder knowledge, qualitative analysis and quantitative modelling showed that commonly used drought index values' meaning as useful indicators and drought mitigation measure triggers changes during an event and over time due to management decisions and adaptation. Stakeholder engagement helped reveal these findings and informed consequent options for implementation into drought monitoring and early warning. Difference in this implementation potential arise from different governance structures in the case studies.

Some additional highlights specific to the UK at the present stage (March 2018) include:

- Engagement with a wide range of stakeholders suggests an appetite for improved 'impact-focused' M&EW systems in the UK, using consistent indicators to help consistency of messaging.

- Different stakeholders have very different framings of the issue of drought, which have an influence on their requirements for monitoring and early warning; M&EW systems need to accommodate this in their design.

- We have tested comprehensively, for the first time, standardized drought indicators for use in M&EW the UK. We have provided guidance as to their suitability and the best statistical formulation for testing them. We have used these indicators to shed light on drought variability in the UK, and the propagation of drought from rainfall to river flow. Both these advances have been published and we anticipate they will be useful for researchers and practitioners alike who wish to use these tools in the UK. In addition, they are of international significance; while standardized indicators have been applied occasionally to river flows in the literature, our use of them is one of the most expansive and comprehensive tests and we make recommendations for application which could be relevant in many other environments. The standardised indicators are also being used extensively in other projects (Historic Droughts and ENDOWS).

- Jointly with colleagues at U. Freiburg, we have explored the link between drought indicators and drought impacts in the UK, and made comparisons with Germany using novel statistical methods. We demonstrated that impact databases have much potential for appraising the suitability of different drought indicators for use in early warning. Different indicators work well for different types of impacts (e.g. water supply, agriculture) and it is rarely possible to find indicator 'thresholds' that consistently predict impacts. However, the work paves the way for using impacts data in a systematic and rigorous way to guide M&EW system design.

- In collaboration with National Capability funded CEH data scientists, we have delivered a prototype new monitoring and early warning system, the CEH Drought Portal that is based on DrIVER data and design. We released the portal firstly as a way of exploring historic datasets. We have since developed the portal further into an operational too. We have worked with stakeholders to get their feedback on the portal and its potential uses.

- we have tested drought indicators based on earth observation data at the European scale, and released the indicators as an Open Dataset.
Exploitation Route DrIVER work has informed and directly initiated the implementation of new features into existing Monitoring and Early Warning Systems, e.g.:

- UK Drought Portal: datasets implemented and visualisation options
- UK 'HydEOmex' portal, a demonstrator for Earth Observation based monitoring; exploys key DrIVER outputs.
- North Carolina: new visualisation and analysis options for comparison with impacts in their monitoring system
- Australia: an article in 'The Conversation' created debate about the degree of consideration of impacts in monitoring and early warning

There is significant opportunity to build on the findings - we plan to continue analysing the new datasets, developing the portal and continuing the stakeholder engagement, so the project is not finished yet. But we envisage that other researchers and practitioners will be able to use the outcomes, especially:

- Use of the Drought portal in research and practice
- use of the many datasets of drought indicators we have developed and published as open data
- use of our recommendations for drought indicator applications in future
- use of the UK Droughts impact database we have delivered
- learning from our stakeholder co-enquiries for future stakeholdfer co-design of M&EW systems.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Energy,Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice

URL https://www.drought.uni-freiburg.de/
 
Description The Droughts Portal has been used to track the evolution of drought status in 2016 - 2018. CEH released several Blog Posts highlighting the current situation, which referred to the portal. The Portal and related indicators have been highlighted as important by UK regulators (the Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales) and the latter have cited our work in their drought planning guidance, as have UKWIR, the umbrella organisation for the UK Water Industry. We have also received feedback that the Drought Portal has been used in planning and decision-making by the Canal and Rivers Trust. We are also aware that ESRI have shown interest in the SPI data we released on the Portal and have been using it in developing visualisations. We will update this further soon with more information on non-academic impacts.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Environment,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Government, Democracy and Justice,Other
Impact Types Societal,Policy & public services

 
Description CEH Drought Portal recommended in UKWIR Water Resources Planning Guidance
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
URL https://www.ukwir.org/146387?object=151120
 
Description Historic Droughts/DrIVER work on indicators featured in Natural Resources Wales Drought Planning Guidelines
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
Impact CEH's work on standardised drought indicators was cited in a document prepared by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) providing guidelines for drought planning in Wales, effectively recommending CEH's Drought Portal and Indicators as a data source for use in Drought Planning.
URL https://naturalresources.wales/media/682496/wc-dpg-2017-consultation.pdf
 
Description Foreign and Commonwealth Office - China Prosperity Fund
Amount £40,000 (GBP)
Organisation Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2016 
End 03/2017
 
Description NERC Climate Services
Amount £25,000 (GBP)
Funding ID NEC05868 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2016 
End 05/2016
 
Description NERC Droughts and Water Scarcity Programme
Amount £2,000,000 (GBP)
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2017 
End 03/2019
 
Title Drought Indicator series for Europe based on remote sensing 
Description This dataset consists in a collection of remotely sensed drought indicators time series. The data was extracted from CEH's gridded remotely sensed drought indicators product (Tanguy et al., 2016 http://doi.org/10.5285/4e0d0e50-2f9c-4647-864d-5c3b30bb5f4b), which has gridded data for Europe for three drought indicators: - the Vegetation Condition Index (VCI) based on satellite product NDVI (Normalised Difference Vegetation Index); - the Temperature Condition Index (TCI) based on remotely sensed LST (Land Surface Temperature); - the Vegetation Health Index (VHI) which is a combination of VCI and TCI. These three drought indicators have been extracted for European NUTS regions (level 0, 1, 2 and 3). These have been masked with a land use land cover map to be able to study different responses for various land cover types. A simplified LULC was created, with only four classes: forest, crop, shrub and grass. One extra time series was created for all classes together. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Testing of these indicator datasets has been undertaken against meteorological datasets; a paper is in preparation. 
URL https://catalogue.ceh.ac.uk/documents/5b3fcf9f-19d4-4ad3-a8bb-0a5ea02c857e
 
Title Gridded SPEI for GB 
Description Gridded Standardized Precipitation-Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) using generalised logistic distribution with standard period 1961-2010 for Great Britain [SPEIgenlog61-10]. Gridded SPEI for the UK at 1km2 resolution using CEH-GEAR Rainfall and CHESS data. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2015 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Use on the CEH Drought Portal. 
 
Title Gridded SPI for GB 
Description Gridded Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) using gamma distribution with standard period 1961-2010 for Great Britain [SPIgamma61-10]. Gridded database of SPI for the UK using CEH-GEAR Rainfall at 1km2. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2015 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Use on the CEH Droughts Portal. 
 
Title Gridded Standardized Precipitation Index data for the UK 
Description We have delivered a 1km2 resolution dataset of the Standardized Precipitation Index for the UK, using the CEH-GEAR gridded rainfall dataset. The SPI is a widely used drought indicator. We will be using this for analysis in the DriVER project to characterize drought severity in catchments and at regional scales in the UK. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2014 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The SPI is being used within DrIVER to develop a prototype Monitoring and Early Warning (M&EW) tool for the UK, for the DrIVER stakeholder workshops and to allow us to conduct consistent analysis of drought with international partners. To pave the way for a M&EW tool this we have delivered the dataset to the Land and Water Information System team at CEH who are developing this into a web Droughts Portal (release date early 2015) enabling dynamic spatial and temporal visualisation of the SPI. 
 
Title SPI for Hydrological Units, Hydrometric Areas 
Description Standardised Precipitation Index (SPI) data for Integrated Hydrological Units (IHU) Hydrometric Areas (Kral et al. [1]). SPI is a drought index based on the probability of precipitation for a given accumulation period as defined by McKee et al. [2]. SPI is calculated for different accumulation periods: 1, 3, 6, 12, 18, 24 months. Each of these is in turn calculated for each of the twelve calendar months. Note that values in monthly (and for longer accumulation periods also annual) time series of the data therefore are likely to be autocorrelated. The standard period which was used to fit the gamma distribution is 1961-2010. The dataset covers the period from 1961 to 2012. [1] Kral, F., Fry, M., Dixon, H. (2015). Integrated Hydrological Units of the United Kingdom: Hydrometric Areas without Coastline. NERC-Environmental Information Data Centre doi:10.5285/3a4e94fc-4c68-47eb-a217-adee2a6b02b3 [2] McKee, T. B., Doesken, N. J., Kleist, J. (1993). The Relationship of Drought Frequency and Duration to Time Scales. Eighth Conference on Applied Climatology, 17-22 January 1993, Anaheim, California. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2015 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Used in the development of the CEH Drought Portal tool. 
URL https://catalogue.ceh.ac.uk/documents/5e1792a0-ae95-4e77-bccd-2fb456112cc1
 
Title UK Drought Impacts Database 
Description This is a dataset consisting over 5000 reported drought impacts from the early 1970s to present. These are mainly text based reports of drought impacts classified into various categories (agricultural, wildfires etc) that have been collated from grey literature and environment agency drought management briefings. This is the first systematic collection of reported drought impacts we are aware of. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2014 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact This data is being incorporated into the European Drought Impacts Inventory, a wider European database developed in the EU FP7 project R&SPI. Previously there were only a few hundred UK entries and we have increased this to 5000. This dataset is a core dataset being used in the DrIVER project, to enable us to validate drought indicators against recorded impacts. The data is being used by all DrIVER partners. We have also provided the data to the RCUK funded Historic Droughts project and we will pass it to numerous other researchers as required. 
 
Title CEH Drought Portal 
Description The UK drought portal is a tool to help understand the severity and magnitude of drought at different spatial scales across the UK over the past half century. Droughts can be visualised and explored through interactive maps and graphs The current version shows the relative magnitude of drought events within river basins and individual catchments based on rainfall deficits over durations ranging from 1 to 24 months. In future this could be extended to include the impact of varying evaporation rates, drought metrics based on river flow and groundwater conditions, or even to display current drought status from real-time drought information. The Drought Portal is based on underlying SPI and SPEI datasets delivered by the DrIVER project. 
Type Of Technology Webtool/Application 
Year Produced 2015 
Impact The Drought Portal is now going to be released (March 2017) as a real-time monitoring tool, to allow users to visualise the current water situation in a historical context using datasets available on the portal. Further information will be added in mid-2017. 
URL https://eip.ceh.ac.uk/droughts
 
Title HydEOmex Demonstration Portal 
Description This demonstrator portal is one of the outcomes of the Hydrological Earth Observation modelling exploration (HydEOmex) project. It allows the user to map and visualise a number of gridded datasets of Earth Observation data (soil moisture and vegetation condition), alongside in-situ data on rainfall, river flows. As well as being a HydEOmex output, the portal uses data developed in the DrIVER project. 
Type Of Technology Webtool/Application 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact None yet - this is a demonstration portal, further info will be added. However, there is significant interest in this portal from users (e.g. the Environment Agency) and it has been used to showcase the potential for bringing EO and in-situ datasets together. 
URL http://wlwater.ceh.ac.uk/appsdev/hydeomex/about.html
 
Title Real-time Drought Monitoring via the UK Drought Portal 
Description The UK Drought Portal was released in 2015, but in 2017 we upgraded the functionality and processes such that the portal is updated every month. We receive gridded rainfall data from the UK met Office and transform this into the drought indicator (SPI) and upload it every month, in the first few days of the month.In this way the Portal has become a near real-time drought monitoring tool that can be used to map, track and plot current rainfall drought status. Further major upgrades are planned in 2018 (adding river flows and groundwater). 
Type Of Technology Webtool/Application 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact At this stage, it is relatively early days for the drought portal as an operational tool. However, it has become reasonably well know as a tool for indexing drought status - the EA, Canal and Rivers Trust and others have indicated in was useful in the 2016-2017 dry weather situatiuon. 
URL https://eip.ceh.ac.uk/droughts
 
Description Aquator Users Group Meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Jamie Hannaford was invited keynote speaker at the Aquator Users Group annual conference, comprising professionals from across the water industry and regulators. The group meets annually to discuss water resources and drought planning in the context of the Aquator software.

The presentation was entitled: "Improving information for drought planning and decision-making" and included outputs from two NERC projects, Historic Droughts and DrIVER.

The event was held at Worcester College, Oxford, 12th October 2016.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Belmont Forum - Final Synthesis Meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact A synthesis meeting was convened by the Belmont Forum fin San Francisco, CA on 10-12 December 2016. A dozen project teams from around the globe addressing complex coastal
vulnerability and freshwater security issues were present.

DrIVER scientists participated in the facilitated event that spanned across all the funded projects in the original Belmont 'Freshwater Security' and 'Coastal vulnerability' Programmes. The outcome was a high-level synthesis document that will soon be made available by the Belmont Forum.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Blog Post about drought prospects 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Blog Post about drought situation in spring 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.ceh.ac.uk/news-and-media/blogs/hydrological-status-update
 
Description Blog Post about the Drought Portal 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Blog post about the Drought Portal.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.ceh.ac.uk/news-and-media/blogs/uk-drought-portal-near-real-time-updates
 
Description British Hydrological Society Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation to the BHS International Conference at Cranfield, September 2016. Cedric Laize presented work carried out on 'Drought Impacts on River Ecology', carried out in the Historic Droughts and DriVER projects.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.hydrology.org.uk/assets/Cranfield%20Programme.rev.pdf
 
Description CIWEM National Water Resources Panel 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Jamie Hannaford was invited speaker at the CIWEM national water resources panel.

Title of presentation: Improving drought information for decision making. The presentation covered two NERC projects, DrIVER and Historic Droughts, and considered how the outputs are potentially useful for the water industry in two contexts: 1) long-term strategic planning and 2) early warning to support decision-making in a drought.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Defra Workshop on Drought Research 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Defra hosted a one-day workshop to discuss the variety of NERC funded drought research underway at present, primarily in the Drought and Water Scarcity Programme.

Jamie Hannaford presented the outcomes and plans of the following projects.
- DrIVER
- Historic Droughts
- HydEOmex
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description DrIVER Australia Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The DrIVER workshop in Adelaide in March 2017 explored stakeholder understanding of drought indicators and impacts, and a view towards developing improved monitoring and forecasting systems. Delegates were drawn from across the water management community, as well as including national forecasting agencies.

Following the workshop, we wrote a piece in 'The Conversation'
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://theconversation.com/drought-forecasting-isnt-just-about-water-to-get-smart-we-need-health-and...
 
Description Peter Wolf Symposium 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Lucy Barker presented on the DrIVER project at the 2015 British Hydrological Society Peter Wolf Symposium for early career hydrologists.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Peter Wolf Symposium 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Presentation on the DrIVER project to an early career researchers symposium.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description RMETS/NCAS Conference Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This was a workshop held at the RMETS/NCAS Annual Conference held in Manchester, under the theme "High impact weather and climate".

This was in association with two ongoing research projects: IMPETUS (improving predictions of drought for user decision-making; part of the NERC UK Droughts and Water Scarcity programme) and DrIVER (drought impacts: vulnerability thresholds in monitoring and early-warning research). Speakers from these two projects gave an overview of recent scientific advances in this field, and a presenter from the Environment Agency gave a decision-maker's viewpoint. These presentations were followed by a lively group discussion exercise in which the following three questions were discussed.

What are the biggest challenges in drought monitoring and forecasting at present?
How should we tackle these in order to improve drought monitoring/forecasting?
How can users of drought monitoring/forecast systems get more from them?
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://blogs.reading.ac.uk/weather-and-climate-at-reading/2016/uk-drought-monitoring-and-forecasting...
 
Description UK DrIVER Workshop 2: the future of drought monitoring and early warning systems in the UK 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact In November 2016, we held the Second DrIVER UK stakeholder workshop to understand user needs for monitoring and early warning. We demonstrated the outcomes of the DRIVER project, including a hands-on session allowing users to interact with our prototype drought portal. We had several interactive group sessions to understand user views on drought impacts and how they should be considered in early warning systems. The workshop was very successful with lots of good feedback. We got extensive input on the Drought Portal and have used this to shape the forthcoming operational portal.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description UK Knowldge Gathering Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact On the 17th of March (2015), the first knowledge gathering on drought monitoring and early warning (M&EW) workshop took place in the UK. The aim of this workshop was to improve our collective understanding of drought and M&EW practices currently applied in the UK, to pave the way for developing more effective strategies for M&EW that can provide decision-relevant information to a wide community of potential users. The design enabled participants to: share their different experiences of and responses to drought; improve our understanding of how drought monitoring is undertaken at present; and help identify the requirements for improved M&EW systems in the future.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/513143/
 
Description US DrIVER Drought Workshop #2 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Goals of Workshop
The main goals for this workshop included:
To present updates related to the above research objectives. These included updates from the project's international partners from Australia and the United Kingdom.
Getting localized stakeholder feedback on specific outcomes and potential uses of data related to drought indicator to impact information.

Sessions:
The workshop was organized into three main sessions. The first one was focused on drought impacts and how the information can be better packaged for state drought advisors and local water utilities. The others were related to quantifying drought indicator and impact relationships, in which these research outcomes helped set the stage for the potential development of drought scenarios that includes impact data.

Stakeholder Engagement
20 stakeholders that represented a state drought advisory role, local water utilities, and private consulting were in attendance. There were three post feedback periods for 30-45 minutes each after each research session. The first and third sessions used conversation mapping, where each participant had the opportunity to add to the large sheet a paper an idea related to 1-2 central questions. The second session used a question and answer format, while the third session built onto the first session related to the usage of drought impacts.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description US Knowledge Gathering Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The goal is this will help to develop enhanced early warning systems informed by relevant drought impacts rather than physical (hydro-meteorological) drought indicators alone. For the U.S. water supply case study, the project team engaged community water suppliers and state, federal and private advisors in the Neuse and Cape Fear River basins in North Carolina. The goal of this initial "knowledge sharing" workshop, which took place on December 9, 2014 in Durham, North Carolina, was to share experiences and identify needs related to drought, its impacts, and the role of drought M&EW.

Workshop participants expressed similar needs in regards to enhancing drought monitoring, preparedness and response. General needs included:
##An increase in stream and ground water monitoring stations, local precipitation measurements, and customer water demand data collection to provide more data for drought impact assessment, identifying management triggers, modeling and general decision making
##User-friendly hydro-climatological outlooks from season to annual timescales
##Better local drought impact collection, archiving and reporting systems
##Better probabilistic models and/or scenarios (especially in terms of integrating land use, climate change, and customer water demand data) for producing enhanced hydrologic forecasts and demand projections
##Studies to better assess correlations between the range of drought products/indices (e.g., U.S. Drought Monitor, etc.) and local water supply-related indicators and impacts for their potential use in M&EW and coordination with state government in declaring drought conditions
##Studies to better assess the links between local water-related drought impacts, indicators and management triggers to ensure that impacts are being addressed appropriately in water suppliers' Water Shortage Response Plans
##Additional activities to test the ability of water suppliers' Water Shortage Response Plans to respond to drought quickly and effectively
##Enhanced education, communication, and collaboration before, during, and after drought to share research results and best practice information; engage a broad group of managers, customers and the media; develop consistent educational programs and drought-related messages; and ultimately reduce drought vulnerability and risk.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014