GSA conference to address managing drought and water scarcity

Boulder, CO Geoscientists from around the globe will gather next month to address "Managing Drought and Water Scarcity in Vulnerable Environments: Creating a Roadmap for Change in the United States." The conference, convened by the Geological Society of America, takes place 18-20 September at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center, Longmont, Colorado, USA.

"In the U.S., drought has been viewed largely as a natural hazard, eliciting a reactive response that may be characterized as a 'hydro-illogical' model," said Donald A. Wilhite, Director, National Drought Mitigation Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and technical program chair of the conference. "What we're looking to accomplish is a shift from crisis management to risk management."

According to Wilhite, a driving force behind the meeting is the need to ensure adequate water resources for future generations when drought periods and their impacts are expected to increase. Drought is a nationwide issue, as reflected by conference registration which spans states from California to Florida and Arizona to New Jersey.

Wilhite notes that other countries have developed forward-looking drought policies and practices. International research and experience will be shared by attendees from Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, India, and Iran.

Conference outcomes will include recommendations for changes in policy and practice. A document will be developed after the meeting for use in supporting congressional visits, letter-writing campaigns, and other efforts to accomplish policy change.


The program consists of invited talks, volunteered posters, field trips, and discussion sessions. Topics include:

  • Paleo-record of drought in the U.S. and implications for the future
  • Decadal-scale drought and changing vulnerabilities
  • New technologies for drought prediction and monitoring
  • Impacts of climate change
  • Drought and water quality
  • Drought risk management
  • Water storage issues
  • Planning for drought and climate change

View the program at


American Meteorological Society
American Water Resources Association
American Water Works Association
Colorado State University
Desert Research Institute
Ecological Society of America
Groundwater Foundation
National Center for Atmospheric Research
National Drought Mitigation Center
National Ground Water Association
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
National Water Research Institute
National Institutes for Water Resources
Natural Hazards Center
Society for Range Management
Soil Science Society of America
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
U.S. Geological Survey
Western Rural Development Center
Western Water Assessment


Interested media are invited to attend. Eligibility for complimentary media registration is as follows:

  • Working press representing bona fide, recognized news media with a press card, letter, or business card from the publication.
  • Freelance science writers, presenting a current membership card from NASW, ISWA, regional affiliates of NASW, ISWA, CSWA, ACS, ABSW, EUSJA, or evidence of work pertaining to science published in 2005 or 2006.
  • Public Information Officers (PIOs) of scientific societies, educational institutions, and government agencies. Journalists and PIOs must pay for any luncheons, dinners, or field trips in which they wish to participate.

Representatives of the business side of news media, publishing houses, and for-profit corporations must register at the main registration desk and pay the appropriate fees.

Interested journalists unable to attend are encouraged to view the technical program online and contact participating scientists on presentations of interest.

Presentations are not under embargo and abstracts may be accessed via Please reference the meeting and the Geological Society of America in articles written.

Media-related questions before, during, and after the meeting may be directed to Ann Cairns, Director of Communications at the Geological Society of America (+1-303-357-1056 or [email protected]).

For additional information on the conference see


Geological Society of America
3300 Penrose Place Box 9140
Boulder, CO 80301-9140 USA

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Apr 2016
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