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Gov SandovalThe Western Governors' Drought Forum included five regional meetings that gathered experts from government and industry to discuss drought impacts and share policy solutions, case studies and best practices. If you have a question about the Drought Forum workshops, which were a part of the signature initiative of Western Governors' Association Chairman and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, contact WGA at 303-623-9378.

The workshops included:

Managing Drought in the Energy Sector

Watch the Case Study VideoSept. 18-19, National Weather Center, Norman, Okla: Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin offered opening remarks before participants dove into roundtable discussions on the scope of (and outlook for) drought in the Southern Great Plains. Other sessions illustrated how the energy sector manages drought and ways the energy industry is using technology to prepare for, manage and recover from drought. A case study on the Oklahoma Panhandle Water Plan also was presented.

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Drought Impacts & Solutions in the Manufacturing, Mining and Industrial Sectors

Watch the Case Study VideoOct. 7-8, Salt River Project Pera Club, Tempe, Ariz.: The meeting opened with a keynote by Sandra Fabritz-Whitney of Freeport-McMoRan on the extensive planning by government and industry that ensures sufficient water is available for residential and industrial use. Then meeting attendees discussed the outlook for drought in the region, innovations in industry and manufacturing that allow more efficient use of water, and other issues. The case study Partnership between Gila River Indian Community & Salt River Project also was presented.

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Drought Impacts and Solutions in the Agricultural Sector

Watch the Case Study VideoNov. 13-14, Sacramento, Calif.: Panelists and participants discussed the myriad ways drought affects agricultural production. The meeting included opening remarks by California Gov. Jerry Brown and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, as well as roundtables on topics such as "What is Drought? A Slow-Moving Disaster through the Lenses of Agriculture, Water Management and Science" and "Drought Impacts in the Agricultural Sector." A case study, California’s Approach to Addressing Record Drought, also was presented. 

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Drought Impacts and Solutions for Water Supply

Dec. 8-9, Las Vegas, Nev.: Panelists and participants discussed how drought impacts water providers in Nevada and across the West. The meeting included opening remarks by WGA Chairman and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and panels such as "The Science of Drought," which included Roger Pulwarty, the Director of the National Integrated Drought Information System.  The case study, Collaboration in Addressing Drought in Southern Nevada, also was presented.

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Drought Impacts and Solutions for the Recreation and Tourism Sectors

Jan. 28-29, 2015, Santa Fe, N.M.: Panelists and participants discussed drought's impact on the recreation and tourism sectors in New Mexico and across the West. The meeting included opening remarks by Keith Gardner, Chief of Staff for New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, and panels such as "Innovative Approaches to Drought," which included Gordon Briner, the CEO of Taos Ski Valley. The case study, The River Stewards Initiative, also was presented.

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Drought Forum: Key Themes and Next Steps

June 23, 2015, Incline Village, Nev.: Panelists and participants discussed the most significant themes to emerge during the Drought Forum Initiative's first year and possible next steps to better anticipate and manage drought. The meeting included a presentation of the Summer 2015 Drought Outlook from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, remarks on how Governors in three western states are handling drought, and a project spotlight on the Water for the Seasons project in the Truckee River Basin. The meeting concluded with remarks from Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and the release of the Western Governors' Drought Forum Report.

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The Western Governors’ Drought Forum initiative is being conducted in partnership with NOAA’s National Integrated Drought Information System