The Drought Preparedness Annual Report: a much-overlooked, but invaluable, source for info on Arizona’s lingering dry spell

The Drought Preparedness Annual Report: an invaluable resource during Arizona’s dry spell

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The Drought Preparedness Annual Report: an invaluable resource during Arizona’s dry spell
July 16, 2021


Arizona Drought Preparedness Annual Report 2020


We’ve all seen the headlines of late about drought, and none of them are pretty.

“Water level in Lake Mead, key reservoir along Colorado River, reaching record lows”

“A legendary Arizona river is under threat”

“Drought is stressing California’s power grid”

Rarely have residents of the Southwest been more in need of detailed, straightforward information about the effects of the lengthy and on-going drought afflicting the region, or of careful, science-based appraisals of what may (or may not) lie ahead.

One seriously overlooked resource is the Arizona Drought Preparedness Annual Report, published each year by ADWR in collaboration with the Drought Monitoring Technical Committee, the Drought Interagency Coordinating Group, and the Local Drought Impact Groups.

A virtual Farmers Almanac of drought data published annually since 2006, the Annual Report summarizes Arizona’s short and long-term drought status for the most recent water-year and projects an outlook for the next water-year.

Precipitation outlook for Jan-Mar 2021

In addition, it provides drought designation information, Drought Index Well Level data, water-supply information, the findings of Arizona’s Drought Monitoring Technical Committee and the Drought Interagency Coordinating Group, and much more. In the 2020 Annual Report, ADWR worked with the Arizona Department of Health Services to include a Drought & Health section, as well.

The Annual Report is written for a general audience, not just for water wonks.

The “editor” of the Annual Report is Némesis Ortiz-Declet, ADWR’s Drought and Conservation Programs Coordinator. In addition to coordinating the work of the drought-monitoring committee and the interagency group, Némesis also helps develop and distribute water conservation education information to the general public  and manages the Active Management Areas Low-Water-Use Plants Lists.

Quarterly maps showing drought conditions throughout the state
To learn more about this seriously under-appreciated drought resource, Arizona Water News sat down with Némesis to discuss her work on the latest edition, as well as about the other invaluable drought publications she coordinates - the monthly and quarterly Drought Status Reports published on the ADWR website