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Managing Drought & Water Scarcity

In recent years, NY has experienced significant drought regionally and across the state, sometimes leading to water use restrictions and widespread impacts on municipal and private water supplies. Such drought conditions can deplete stream flow and groundwater, having negative ecological consequences, as well as stressing water resource infrastructure and distribution systems and their management. In response to more frequently occurring and projected regional drought,  WRI’s objectives for this program are to better understand the mechanisms leading to drought in NY’s different regions and act as a resource for various stakeholders who are concerned and impacted by drought.

For more information on current and forecasted drought conditions in New York and the northeast more generally, please visit the Northeast Drought Early Warning System Dashboard managed by the Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell University  

Research Goals

  • Develop probabilistic forecasting streamflow models based on historic records, and accounting for climate non-linearity 
  • Advance our understanding of how human decision making and infrastructure systems can impact drought likelihood

Outreach Goals

  • Promote and develop web-based applications that allow users to better understand and plan for drought 
  • Create summaries of research findings and engage with local/regional stakeholders involved in drought forecast and response
  • Assist in the creation of drought management plans where appropriate