USGS integrated drought science

Circular 1430
USGS Coordinated and Integrated Drought Science
By: , and 


Project Need and Overview

Drought poses a serious threat to the resilience of human communities and ecosystems in the United States (Easterling and others, 2000). Over the past several years, many regions have experienced extreme drought conditions, fueled by prolonged periods of reduced precipitation and exceptionally warm temperatures. Extreme drought has far-reaching impacts on water supplies, ecosystems, agricultural production, critical infrastructure, energy costs, human health, and local economies (Milly and others, 2005; Wihlite, 2005; Vörösmarty and others, 2010; Choat and others, 2012; Ledger and others, 2013). As global temperatures continue to increase, the frequency, severity, extent, and duration of droughts are expected to increase across North America, affecting both humans and natural ecosystems (Parry and others, 2007).

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has a long, proven history of delivering science and tools to help decision-makers manage and mitigate effects of drought. That said, there is substantial capacity for improved integration and coordination in the ways that the USGS provides drought science. A USGS Drought Team was formed in August 2016 to work across USGS Mission Areas to identify current USGS drought-related research and core capabilities. This information has been used to initiate the development of an integrated science effort that will bring the full USGS capacity to bear on this national crisis.

Suggested Citation

Ostroff, A.C., Muhlfeld, C.C., Lambert, P.M., Booth, N.L., Carter, S.L., Stoker, J.M., and Focazio, M.J., 2017, USGS integrated drought science: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1430, 24 p.,

ISSN: 2330-5703 (online)

Table of Contents

  • Project Need and Overview
  • Goals and Objectives
  • USGS Role in Federal Drought Resilience Plan
  • Current USGS Drought Projects and Capabilities
  • Stakeholder Needs
  • USGS Mission Area Capabilities
  • Integrated Drought Science Approach
  • Near-Term Opportunities
  • USGS Drought Online Resource and Communication
  • USGS Drought Partnerships and Coordination
  • A New Path Forward
  • References Cited
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title USGS integrated drought science
Series title Circular
Series number 1430
DOI 10.3133/cir1430
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Office of the AD Ecosystems
Description iv, 24 p.
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details