Headline News
Go Back
2015-02-19

TWDB publishes study on drought indicators

Special to the Courier

The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) in coordination with The University of Texas at Austin's Jackson School of Geosciences announces the publication of a study on indicators for the early warning of drought in Texas.
The study observed that certain climatic conditions in the spring, such as atmospheric pressure and soil moisture, can be used to better predict drought over Texas in the summer. The study participants developed a statistical model that is about 70 percent effective in predicting summer precipitation.
The model successfully predicted rainfall conditions for last summer. "If we can predict summer drought in April, or as early as January, water providers have more time to prepare," explained the lead author of the study, Dr. Nelun Fernando of the TWDB.
"I am proud of the critical component of water science at TWDB," said TWDB Chairman Carlos Rubinstein. "We are the state agency charged with developing sound science for water planning. The important work of our scientists helps with both long-term planning and near-term potential drought response."
The research that supported this study was funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research said Rong Fu, a professor at the Jackson School of Geosciences and the project's principal investigator.
The report, Early Warning of Summer Drought over Texas and the South Central United States: Spring Conditions as a Harbinger of Summer Drought, can be read in its entirety on TWDB's website.
Past and future drought early warning information can be found at http://www.jsg.utexas.edu/news/early-warning-drought-forecast/.
"In addition to our science programs, TWDB offers many financial assistance programs to help water suppliers respond to drought conditions," said Rubinstein. " Our programs, including the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT), the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF), and the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF), are available to provide communities with drought response, water infrastructure, and water quality improvements."