Drought information bill signed into law

NOAA director to report Congress on how the government can reduce problems stemming from drought more quickly.

The President signed into law the National Integrated Drought Information System Reauthorization Act Thursday. The bipartisan bill easily passed the House with a vote of 356-21 vote in the House and passing via unanimous consent in the Senate.

This bipartisan legislation ensures that the federal government can continue to provide timely, effective drought warning forecasts and vital support to communities that are vulnerable to drought.

The bill will require the director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to report to Congress on how the government can reduce problems stemming from drought more quickly, and it calls for the creation of an early warning system.
States, cities, towns, farmers, and businesses rely on tools and data from the National Integrated Drought Information System to make informed decisions about water use, crop planting, wildfire response, and other critical areas.

Currently, a number of Western states are facing drought conditions, including a severe drought in California, said a statement from President Obama said his administration is pursuing every measure to provide relief and support in partnership with States.

“To complement the National Integrated Drought Information System, as part of my Climate Action Plan, federal agencies have also formed a National Drought Resilience Partnership to help communities better prepare for droughts in the long term, and prevent the worst impacts on families and businesses,” the President’s statement said. “I commend Congress for passing this bipartisan bill to continue to build our national resilience to drought and help communities, farmers, businesses and individuals better prepare and recover when disaster strikes.”

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