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IDALS, Iowa DNR to sponsor drought conditions meeting

An upcoming web meeting will help farmers and the general public learn more about the potential for drought in Iowa this year.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources are sponsoring a virtual public meeting from 10 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, January 13th. State and federal experts will provide insight into last year’s conditions and discuss the potential for drought continuing in 2021. Among the speakers will be Iowa State Climatologist Dr. Justin Glisan.

“Basically, I will be talking about the climatological information we’ve seen for 2020,” Glisan said. “Interesting that we’ve come off two wet years where 2018 was the second wettest year on record and 2019 was the 12th wettest on record. Put those two years together and it was the wettest two-year stint for the state of Iowa in 148 years.”

“So, I’ll talk about precipitation behavior,” Glisan continued. “Dr. Dennis Todey from the USDA Climate Hub in Ames will talk about some climatological outlooks getting into the growing season.”

About half of Iowa’s population is currently challenged with abnormally dry or drought conditions. Specialists will reflect on the droughts of 2020 and 2012, and provide insights on how today’s abnormally dry conditions could affect future drought. Experts will discuss streamflow and groundwater conditions, trends in water use and the climate outlook for next year.

Weaving this information together will provide projections for 2021, says Tim Hall from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. “We plan for their to be ample time for folks to ask questions as well,” Hall said. “If people have questions or things they want clarification on, they will be able to talk with our experts during that virtual meeting to ask their questions and get feedback.”

Find the complete meeting agenda and sign-in information on the Iowa DNR’s Water Summary page.

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