City of Bettendorf, Iowa

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Mayor Leaves to Attend the National Integrated Drought Information System Executive Council Meeting

Mayor Robert Gallagher will be leaving for Washington D.C. from the Quad City International Airport on Monday, April 16, 2018 (11:26 a.m.) to attend the second meeting of the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) Executive Council Meeting. Mayor Gallagher is part of the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative (MRCTI). The MRCTI has been involved since 2013 when the first National Drought Council was passed into law through the 2013 Farm Bill. MRCTI was pivotal in getting the Council included in the bill through working with former Illinois Congressman Enyart. Mayor Gallagher is the only elected official on the Drought Council. All others represent federal agencies.


The National Drought Council is managed by the Department of Commerce through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as part of NOAA’s National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS). Above all, NOAA is interested in working with MRCTI specifically to improve drought readiness along the 1,300-mile waterway, a better understanding of how an extreme drought or flood event can impact the trade footprint along the Mississippi River is needed and NOAA wants to use the dinner on April 16 especially to pursue this and ask the following questions: 


  • How does it impact the economic activity of goods shipped on the River Basin?
  • What does it mean for commercial navigation?
  • Where are those impacts felt within the global marketplace?


Better information to understand the drought trade footprint in the Mississippi River Basin corridor is vital to ensuring such an important system is resilient to future extreme weather events. Please see attached abstract from NOAA on work with MRCTI.


Background on NOAA Drought Early Warning System

NOAA is part of the National Drought Resilience Partnership (NDRP). To enable a more unified federal response to this national challenge, President Obama established the National Drought Resilience Partnership in November 2013 as part of his Climate Action Plan. The NDRP is comprised of: U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of the Interior, the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Department of Energy.

With a focus on building long-term drought resilience, this federal partnership is dedicated to helping communities better prepare for future droughts and reducing the impact of drought events on livelihoods and the economy.


However, NOAA’s work on drought long pre-dates the NDRP. The National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) grew out of a number of activities.  The National Drought Policy Act of 1998 gave rise to a National Drought Policy Commission which ensured collaboration between government agencies on drought related issues.  The Commission’s groundbreaking report, Preparing for Drought in the 21st Century laid the groundwork for drought early warning in the U.S. through a series of recommendations to Congress.  Following the Commission’s recommendations, NIDIS was envisioned in a 2004 report from the Western Governors’ Association.  The NIDIS Act was signed into law in 2006. The NIDIS Act was reauthorized in 2014.