Planning and Drought

PAS Report 574

By James Schwab, FAICP

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A tornado rips through town. A hurricane blasts along the coast. An earthquake rocks the city. Most natural disasters hit hard and fast. Droughts are different. They steal in, one cloudless day after another, often catching communities unprepared.

Is your community at risk? Planning and Drought helps planners, public agencies, and local officials see the crisis on the horizon and get ready to meet it. This resourceful guide connects the dots between drought and land-use planning, water management, public health, and the local economy. The field's top researchers show how drought leaves communities vulnerable to wildfires, soil erosion, air pollution, and more. Experts with hands-on experience share checklists, case studies, and the pros and cons of various approaches to drought planning. Readers will come away with the tools to act against a threat that creeps in and leaves a legacy of dust.

This PAS report was produced in conjunction with the University of Nebraska's National Drought Mitigation Center and the National Integrated Drought Information System.

Product Details

Page Count
Date Published
Oct. 1, 2013
Adobe PDF
APA Planning Advisory Service

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Drought: The Problem
Water Impacts
Public Health Impacts
Environmental Impacts
Built Environment Impacts
Secondary Hazards
Economic Impacts
Drought as a Challenge for Planners

Chapter 2: Drought: The Knowledge Base
Spatial and Seasonal Patterns of Drought
Drought and Climate Changes
Tracking Drought: Tools and Resources
Using the Drought Resources Toolbox

Chapter 3: Drought: How Planners Can Address the Issue
How Drought Differs from Other Hazards
Land-Use Planning Activities Related to Drought Mitigation
Types of Plans for Addressing Drought
Addressing the Impacts of Climate Change
Cross-Jurisdictional Partnerships for Drought and Water Planning
Communicating Drought to the Community

Chapter 4: Drought Planning in Practice
Hualapai Tribe
Athens–Clarke County, Georgia
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Tampa Bay Water
Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin
State of Colorado
Murray–Darling Basin, Australia

Chapter 5: Framework for Drought: Conclusions
Community and Regional Benefits of Drought Mitigation
Looking to the Future: What Else Should Communities Do to Mitigate Drought?