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The Southwest Biological Science Center’s two branches (Terrestrial Drylands Ecology and Grand Canyon Research and Monitoring) are located on and conduct a substantial proportion of their research within the Colorado River Basin. 

The Drought Data Explorer (DDE) project has the overarching goal to enhance the capacity of the Centers’ Information Technology and Data Management section to make drought data for the Basin searchable and accessible on the web. Drought data created by Center scientists will enhance coproduction of actionable science and help inform the decision needs of federal, state, tribal, NGO and other stakeholders within the Basin.

The first phase of the project will soon be available online. The Explorer application allows users to explore datasets related to drought metrics, soil characteristics and historical vegetation data for the Basin.

Watch here for updates on the unveiling of the Drought Data Explorer.

 

Image: Drought and Beetle-Killed Piñon Pines in Arizona
Drought and beetle-killed piñon pines in Walnut Canyon National Monument near Flagstaff, Arizona, amid some surviving trees. Forest drought stress is highly correlated with mortality from poor growth, bark beetle outbreaks, and high-severity fire.
Dry conditions at cattle water sources in western Colorado.
Dry conditions at cattle water sources in western Colorado. Climate change combined with overlapping high-intensity land uses are likely to create conditions detrimental to the recreation economy, wildlife habitat, water availability and other resources in hyper-arid landscapes or drylands in the future.
Image: Dust Storm near Winslow, Arizona, in April  2011
Dust carried by the wind has far-reaching effects, including the loss of nutrients and water-holding capacity from landscapes, and the speeding up of the melting of snow, which affects the timing and magnitude of runoff into streams and rivers.