High Plains Regional Climate Center


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Published as Chapter 7 in Water Policy and Planning in a Variable and Changing Climate: Insights from the Western United States, edited by Kathleen A. Miller, Alan F. Hamlet, Douglas S. Kenney, & Kelly T. Redmond. CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, 2016.


Copyright © 2016 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Used by permission.


This chapter examines which levels of government handle various aspects of drought, as well as interactions between levels of government, providing examples from states across the western United States. It also takes a look at aspects of drought that fall outside traditional lines of authority and disciplinary boundaries. As part of a discussion on how states support local drought response, the chapter details and contrasts how California and Colorado track public water supply restrictions, and describes Colorado’s process for incorporating input from river basins across the state into its water plan. Case studies focus on drought planning in the Klamath River and Upper Colorado River basins through the lens of collaborative environmental planning. The chapter concludes that drought planning will be more effective as more states coordinate and align goals and policies at multiple levels of government.