State of Iowa Evaluating Drought Plan

The State of Iowa has just put its first-ever drought plan to work to help it manage one of the longest and most severe dry periods in recent history, and officials say they are already making plans to improve it.

Iowa was more than 15 inches short of normal precipitation between fall 2022 and this autumn. While sustained drought happens over a much longer time period, in the short term, Iowa has had below-normal moisture three years in a row. State Climatologist Justin Glisan says until now, Iowa hasn’t had all the tools or information needed to know how best to react from year to year…

The Iowa Drought Plan should allow water officials to react nimbly to each of the five drought stages that are laid out in the plan. The plan was developed by local, county, and state agencies, all of which had input into the moisture needs and deficits in each of Iowa’s 99 counties.

Glisan says given what they’ve already learned, drought experts are looking at rewriting sections of the plan. He says they’ll focus on standardized stream flows, anticipating varying levels of precipitation, and preparing for what are known as “flash droughts”…

Iowa and other drought-prone parts of the country can see current moisture levels on the U-S Drought Monitor web page.

(courtesy Iowa News Service)


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