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Calif launches interagency drought planning task force

January 31, 2023

Despite heavy storms California Department of Water Resources (DWR) prepares for dry conditions.

Initiated by state Senate Bill 552 the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has launched a Drought Resilience Interagency and Partners (DRIP) Collaborative, preparing for the return of dry conditions.

The 26-member partnership among local governments, community representatives and local and state agencies that address drought planning, emergency response and ongoing water management is intended to lessen drought impacts and sustain water supply, especially among smaller and rural communities.

The DRIP Collaborative will include appointees from Tribes, nonprofit technical assistance providers, agriculture, the environmental sector, water systems, land use planners, experts on water resilience or water infrastructure, and the general public.

Despite the present scenario – of average or above average water levels at state-owned reservoirs — much of California remains in drought because the past three years were characterized by “extreme drought.”

“It’s critical the water community all work together to advance drought planning and response for the state’s hotter, drier future,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “We’re looking for a variety of representatives statewide to actively participate on behalf of all water users to achieve a drought resilient future.”

DRIP Collaborative members will be announced in the spring, 2023 and the first meeting is slated for April 6. Meetings will occur tri-annually. Since the collaborative will serve as a public forum to address drought-related issues and solutions across a state interagency team, the meetings will be open to the public.

KISTERS partners with state and local water agencies, including irrigators, to use remote weather monitoring networks, weather forecasts and models to inform reservoir operations, water management decisions, as well as hydropower and solar power generation. Learn more about a forecast-coordinated hydrologic and hydraulic optimization model to maximize water storage decisions. In addition, satellite data services are available to complement ground-based monitoring data and improve modeling accuracy.