From The Greeley Tribune:
Five U.S. senators — including Mark Udall, D-Colo. — introduced bipartisan legislation this week to reauthorize the National Integrated Drought Information System.
The system, a function of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, provides drought information to farmers, ranchers and other industries affected by weather conditions, according to the supporting senators.
“The effects of climate change and the severe ongoing drought are readily apparent in Colorado, where we have experienced lower crop yields, increased fire hazards and the lack of snowpack in the high country,” Udall said. “Improving our ability to forecast droughts will help farmers, ranchers and everyone who relies on water to better prepare for droughts’ devastating effects.”
The Drought Information Act would extend the program for five years and support an interactive “early warning system” of timely and accurate drought information, as well an integrated weather monitoring and forecasting system.
By increasing coordination with the USDA and private sector, this bill would also enhance the agriculture industry’s involvement in the program, Udall said.