Drought -- National Drought Mitigation Center


Date of this Version



Published in Towards a Compendium on National Drought Policies: Proceedings of an Expert Meeting, July 14-15, 2011, Washington, D.C. USA, pp. 115-124, edited by M. V. K. Sivakumar, R. P. Motha, D. A. Wilhite, and J. J. Qu (Geneva: World Meteorological Organization, 2011).


Drought monitoring, assessment, response, mitigation, adaptation, and early warning systems have been created in a number of countries around the world, and some regional and continental efforts have been successful. However, the creation of a Global Drought Early Warning System (GDEWS) remains elusive. A GDEWS incorporates forecasting and research improvements, in addition to monitoring, impact, planning, mitigation and adaptation and recovery information. At a series of workshops in 2010, the U.S. National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) agreed to take the first step toward a GDEWS, the formation of a Global Drought Monitoring Portal (GDMP). This effort currently covers three continents – North America, Europe, and Africa – and provides global drought indicator information through satellite products and Global Historical Climate Network locations. The GDMP has benefited from coordination with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and Group on Earth Observations (GEO). Other nations have expressed interest in contributing and new regional and continental information should be online shortly. This paper presents the capabilities of the GDMP to link the monitoring, forecasting, research, and impacts aspects of international drought as well as the advantages of using common architecture through GEO to facilitate transfer and interoperability of GDEWS-related information.