National Drought Mitigation Center
NDMC Drought Impact Reporter

Submit a Report

Learn how your report becomes an impact.
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Description

Please provide a Description of how drought is affecting you, your livelihood, your activities, etc. If there is a report online that helps illustrate your observation, please use the Related Link box to provide the link. A Condition Monitoring Report allows a regular observer to describe normal conditions that are likely to change during drought, to create a basis for comparison. Please check Condition Monitoring Report if that’s what you are submitting. If you aren’t sure, please leave it unchecked.

Categories

To help get a handle on drought's complex impacts, we divide them into Categories. Not all impacts fit neatly within a category, but many do. Please click on the checkbox or category name to select it. When you select a category, you have the option to enter a Value in dollars for losses or gains. Any information about dollar losses or gains will appear along with the other information you submit in your report.
Agriculture $
Business & Industry $
Energy $
Fire $
General Awareness $
Plants & Wildlife $
Relief, Response & Restrictions $
Society & Public Health $
Tourism & Recreation $
Water Supply & Quality $

Duration

The Start Date and End Date can be approximate. A Start Date is required. It is OK to leave the End Date blank if the impact is ongoing or if you don’t know when it ended. Click on the calendar icon and then on a specific date to select a Start Date or End Date, or manually enter a date using MM/DD/YYYY format.

Affected Places

To select an entire state, click on the arrow to the right of the name of the state. The name of the state should appear in the Affected Places box above. To report on an impact in a specific location, first click on the name of the state where it is. The state should be highlighted, but should not appear in the Affected Places box. A list of counties in the state will appear. To select one or more counties, click on the arrow to the right of the name of one or more counties. The counties you selected will appear in the Affected Places box. To select a city, first click on the name of the state where it is. The state should be highlighted, but should not appear in the Affected Places box. Then begin typing the name of the city in the box at the top of the City column, and select the city you want when it appears by clicking on the arrow to the right of its name. To unselect a state, county or city, click on the x to the left of its name in the Affected Places field. Clicking on Add All States will do just that. It may be faster to add all and then unselect a few than to select a large number of states. Please use this option with caution. If all but a few counties in a state are affected, you can select all, which will highlight all of them, and then hold down the control key and click on the county names to unselect them, and then click add selected to make the ones still highlighted appear in the Affected Places box.
State County City
  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

      Images

      Browse to the Photo you would like to submit. Attach up to five gif/jpg/jpeg/png image files smaller than 10 MB. Please enter the photographer’s name and organization, if applicable, as it should appear in the Credit. Enter the Date the photo was taken. Enter the Location where the photo was taken. Please provide Caption information that helps people understand what effect of drought the photo shows. It may be helpful to submit before and after photos, if possible, so that people can contrast drought conditions with normal conditions.
      By submitting images, you agree that the National Drought Mitigation Center may publish them in the Drought Impact Reporter, on NDMC websites, or via social media. You also agree that you are the photographer or that you have the photographer’s permission to submit the photo.



      Contact Information

      Please provide your First Name and Last Name. We can keep it confidential based on your answer below, but we still need it for our records. Please select the Observer Type that best describes you. If you are submitting a report on behalf of an organization, agency, or business, please let us know. Please provide your State and the nearest City. Please provide an Email address and a Phone number in case our moderators need to contact you to verify information.

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      Agriculture

      Drought effects associated with agriculture, farming, aquaculture, horticulture, forestry or ranching. Examples of drought-induced agricultural impacts include: damage to crop quality; income loss for farmers due to reduced crop yields; reduced productivity of cropland; insect infestation; plant disease; increased irrigation costs; cost of new or supplemental water resource development (wells, dams, pipelines) for agriculture; reduced productivity of rangeland; forced reduction of foundation stock; closure/limitation of public lands to grazing; high cost or unavailability of water for livestock, Christmas tree farms, forestry, raising domesticated horses, bees, fish, shellfish, or horticulture.

      Business & Industry

      Drought effects affecting non-agriculture and non-tourism businesses, such as lawn care businesses, sales of recreational vehicles or other recreational gear, and plant nurseries. Examples of drought-induced business impacts could include: reduction or loss of employees, change in sales or volume of business, variation in number of calls for service, early closure or late opening for the season, bankruptcy, permanent store closure, economic impacts.

      Energy

      Drought effects associated with power production, electricity rates, energy revenue, and purchase of alternate sources of energy. Examples include hydropower and non-hydropower production when affected by drought, electricity rates, revenue shortfalls and/or windfall profits, purchase of electricity when hydropower generation is down.

      Fire

      Drought effects contributing to forest, range, rural, or urban fires, fire danger, and burning restrictions. Examples of fire impacts include: Enactment/easing of burning restrictions, fireworks ban, increased fire risk, occurrence of fire (number of acres burned, number of wildfires compared to average, people displaced, etc.), increase in firefighting personnel, state of emergency during periods of high fire danger, closure of roads land due to fire occurrence or risk.

      Plants & Wildlife

      Drought effects associated with unmanaged plants and wildlife, fisheries, forests, and other fauna. Examples of drought-induced impacts on plants and wildlife include: loss of biodiversity of plants or wildlife; loss of trees from rural or urban landscapes, shelterbelts, or wooded conservation areas; reduction and degradation of fish and wildlife habitat; lack of feed and drinking water; greater mortality due to increased contact with agricultural producers, as animals seek food from farms and producers are less tolerant of the intrusion; disease; increased vulnerability to predation (from species concentrated near water); migration and concentration (loss of wildlife in some areas and too many wildlife in other areas); increased stress to endangered species; salinity levels affecting wildlife, wildlife encroaching into urban areas, loss of wetlands.

      Relief, Response & Restrictions

      Drought effects associated with disaster declarations, aid programs, requests for disaster declaration or aid, water restrictions, fire restrictions. Impacts include: Disaster declarations, aid programs, USDA Secretarial disaster declarations, Small Business Association disaster declarations, government relief and response programs, state-level declarations, county-level declarations, a declared "state of emergency," requests for declarations or aid, non-profit organization-based relief, water restrictions, fire restrictions, declaration of drought watches or warnings.

      Society & Public Health

      Drought effects associated with public and human health. Examples of drought-induced social impacts include: health-related problems related to reduced water quantity and/or quality, such as increased concentration of contaminants; loss of human life (e.g., from heat stress, suicide); increased respiratory ailments; increased disease caused by wildlife concentrations; population migration (rural to urban areas, migrants into the United States); loss of aesthetic values; change in daily activities (non-recreational, like putting a bucket in the shower to catch water), elevated stress levels, meetings to discuss drought, communities creating drought plans, lawmakers altering penalties for violation of water restrictions, demand for higher water rates, cultural/historical discoveries from low water levels, prayer meetings, cancellation of fundraising events, cancellation/alteration of festivals or holiday traditions, stockpiling water, public service announcements and drought information websites, protests.

      Tourism & Recreation

      Drought effects associated with people's recreational activities and tourism. Examples of drought-induced tourism and recreation impacts include: water access or navigation problems for recreation; bans on recreational activities; reduced license, permit, or ticket sales (e.g. hunting, fishing, ski lifts, etc.); losses related to curtailed activities (e.g. bird watching, hunting and fishing, boating, etc.); reduced park visitation; delayed opening for ski resorts; increase in artificial snow generation; cancellation or postponement of sporting events.

      Water Supply & Quality

      Drought effects associated with water supply and water quality. Examples of drought-induced water supply and quality impacts include: Dry wells, water restrictions, changes in water rates, easing of water restrictions, increase in requests for new well permits, changes in water use due to water restrictions, greater water demand, decrease in water allocation or allotments, installation or alteration of water pumps or water intakes, changes to allowable water contaminants, water line damage or repairs due to drought stress, drinking water turbidity, change in water color or odor, declaration of drought watches or warnings, mitigation activities.

      To understand the impacts of drought on plants, animals and people, it is very helpful to monitor conditions regularly, whether the weather is wet or dry. That way we know how a drought year differs from a normal year, and we learn how different plants and animals go into and come out of drought. Regular condition monitoring can also help identify expected seasonal changes versus changes caused by unseasonal wet or dry conditions. This type of monitoring can also help us start to identify long-term or cumulative effects of drought.

      It would be ideal if you decide to report on a single indicator at regular intervals, such as every month or season. You can also include other information in your report, but we’d really like to have a continuous set of observations about a single indicator. It might be easiest to do ongoing reporting if it’s something you can quantify, such as the height of corn, or the number of customers at a water-related outfitter. If you have questions or would like to organize a network of observers, please contact Kelly Helm Smith, ksmith2@unl.edu, 402-472-3373.

      Ideas for what to monitor the condition of fall into several categories, sometimes more than one:

      1. Plants & Wildlife
        1. Height or density of natural vegetation, one particular plant or a patch
        2. Presence or absence of a certain kind of plant, including invasive species
        3. Landscape or garden plants, height, progression through growth cycles
          1. Ex: Frequency of lawn mowing
        4. Whether landscape or garden plants need watering
          1. Brown spots on lawns
        5. How close wildlife are coming to human populations in search of food and water
          1. Ex: Frequency of deer in yards
          2. Ex: Number of bears looking for food or water
        6. Number of animals or species species at a drinking water source
          1. Ex: Number of birds or species at birdbath or feeder
        7. Presence or absence of aquatic species at a favorite fishing hole; number or size of a certain species; number of species counted
        8. Presence or absence of mosquitoes, grasshoppers, other insects with life-cycles related to dry and wet weather
      2. Agriculture
        1. Irrigated crop progress, appearance
        2. Unirrigated crop progress, appearance
        3. Availability or quality of forage or hay for livestock
        4. Availability of water for livestock
        5. Availability of water for irrigation
      3. Water Supply & Quality
        1. Water supply quality and quantity for human consumption: Need to haul or boil water
        2. Water quality and characteristics: Changes in taste, odor, color, chemical content (if a well is tested regularly)
        3. Municipal supply: Voluntary or mandatory watering restrictions
        4. Availability of water for livestock
        5. Availability of water for irrigation
      4. Recreation & Tourism
        1. Water-based recreation: Number of people boating, canoeing, swimming, fishing at a certain spot
        2. Outdoor recreation: Number of people hiking, camping, etc.
      5. Society & Public Health
        1. Water supply quality and quantity for human consumption: Need to haul or boil water
        2. Air quality related to dust, aerosols, smoke: Whether outdoor activities are accessible or need to be curtailed due to air quality
        3. Mood: How do you or the people around you -- farmers, ranchers, neighbors, family, etc. -- sound when talking about the weather? You could describe the mood in words such as normal, glad, amazed, depressed, scared, or relieved. Or you could use a scale such as 1 to 10, with 1 being “very unpleasant” and 10 being “very pleasant.”
      6. Business & Industry
        1. Pounds of bait sold>
        2. Number or quality of fish catch, or the need to diversify species or business activities
        3. Number of watercraft rented (canoes, kayaks, pontoon boats)
        4. Effects on landscaping business, such as number of plants replaced or planted, people employed
        5. Prices or availability of agricultural products
        6. High or low irrigation costs
      7. Relief, Response & Restrictions
        1. Presence or absence of burn bans or fireworks bans
        2. Presence or absence of watering restrictions