Cape Town coffee shop sign

Wildfires making the news,

highlight need for resource

Wildfires have been making their way across swaths of California, with 31 major fires currently burning, according to California’s most recent state fire map. Those fires are at least partially tied to the extended drought leading up to this spring’s wet season, which created fuel for the widespread and damaging fires.

The connection between drought and wildfires is complex, though, making “Wildfire and Drought: Impacts on Wildfire Planning Behavior and Effects” even more relevant today. The publication examines the relationship between drought and wildfire and provides:

  • A history of wildfire in the West
  • An examination of drought impacts related to wildfires
  • Challenges and opportunities to planning for wildfires related to drought
  • Recommendations for understanding and addressing impacts of drought on wildfire

The publication is a collaboration among the National Integrated Drought Information System, NOAA’s Western Regional Climate Center, the California Nevada Applications Program, the Desert Research Institute, and the National Drought Mitigation Center.

Cape Town coffee shop sign
NEEF offers free course ‘Dealing with Drought’

The National Environmental Education Foundation is offering a free online course “Dealing with Drought: Science, Impacts and Strategies to Save Water.” The course is designed to teach about drought and its effects on society and the environment through videos, quizzes and activities, as well as links to resources. It also aims to provide practical tips and tools to help conserve water.

“The course uses the current California drought as a case study throughout and draws on expertise and interviews from trusted sources, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's WaterSense program, the National Drought Mitigation Center, the U.S. Forest Service, NASA, NOAA and others,” the description states. Register for the course here.
Website offers immediate
water supply monitoring information
Cape Town coffee shop sign
Cape Town, South Africa, is facing a severe water shortage, with its reservoirs at about 37 percent of capacity, according to the city’s website. In response, a website, How many days of water does Cape Town have left?, launched as an information source on the city’s water supply. It provides a countdown to when water is expected to run out, and the current count indicates that day will land in March 2018. While it is unclear who created or maintains the website, it does go beyond a countdown, offering information on why the city has faced an ongoing water shortage and providing tips and resources for people to become “water wise.”
This photo shows a sign at a Cape Town cafe that points to the website and available water supply. | Courtesy to NDMC
Planting trees
Facing the spread of the emerald ash borer, which eventually will wipe out the city’s ash trees, Omaha pre-emptively planted 68 trees recently along a central corridor of the city.

The trees, which included bald cypress; aspen and red sunset maple; and red, swamp, white and bur oaks, were chosen for their diversity as well as for their drought tolerance, the Omaha World Herald reported.

The volunteer planting project was one of several underway in the Midwest city to mitigate damage to the tree canopy from invasive pests as well as to changes in climate.
The Drought Risk Management Resource Center conducts and applies research to improve drought resilience across the United States. It is a partnership between the National Integrated Drought Information System and the National Drought Mitigation Center, based at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. NIDIS supports the DRMRC through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Sectoral Applications Research Program.
Cape Town coffee shop sign
Cape Town coffee shop sign
Cape Town coffee shop sign
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