McCook, Nebraska, case study

Reducing the risk of drought damages on agriculture

Drought poses the most significant risk to agriculture production and income nationally, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture in a recent Economic Research Services article. It poses a bigger risk than flooding, early frosts and pests.

Farmers in low drought risk areas, may see a severe, extreme or exceptional drought once every five to six years; those in high drought risk areas every two or three, according to the USDA. And factors such as climate, soil depth and health, and access to groundwater supplies play a role in a farms ability to respond to those droughts.

Still, adaptation and advanced planning are key, and USDA conservation policies already in place may help mitigate drought impacts at the farm level, ERS research shows.

“Any action that reduces drought vulnerability increases resilience,” the authors wrote. “Farmers face differing levels of drought vulnerability, reflecting both variation in local drought risk and differences in farm operations and resource endowments.”

McCook, Nebraska, case study
EPA gives guidance to water utilities
in responding to drought
When a drought occurs, water utility companies have to strike a balance between a decreased water supply and increased consumer demand, reduced water quality and decreased revenue. To help utilities better respond to droughts and recover from them, the Environmental Protection Agency released a guidebook that provides:
• An overview on how droughts affect water utilities;
• Information on staffing, response plans and funding;
• Tips on balancing water supply and demand;
• How and when to communicate with your stakeholders; and
• Case studies from communities across the United States.
Case study looks at how one
Nebraska town reacted to 2012 drought
McCook, Nebraska, case study
A new case study, available through the National Drought Mitigation Center, examines how one community in western Nebraska responded to the 2012 drought and how the town used the experience as a vehicle to mitigate future droughts.

“While the residents of McCook struggled during exceptional drought conditions in 2012, they were able to respond and recover from the challenges posed by the drought,” the study states. “The key to McCook’s success was the city’s effective drought management strategies.”

OUR PARTNERSHIP
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.
McCook, Nebraska, case study
McCook, Nebraska, case study
McCook, Nebraska, case study
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McCook, Nebraska, case study
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