President Barack Obama has signed the National Integrated Drought Information System Reauthorization Act of 2014 into law. The bill authorizes appropriations for the National Integrated Drought Information System through fiscal year 2018 and requires the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to report to Congress on the implementation of the system. President Obama says the bipartisan legislation ensures the federal government can continue to provide timely, effective drought warning forecasts and vital support to communities that are vulnerable to drought. He says 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. As climate change increases the intensity of weather-related disasters such as droughts, wildfires, storms and floods – President Obama says providing access to updated drought-related science and tools is growing even more important. He commends Congress for passing this bill to continue to build our national resilience to drought and help communities, farmers, businesses and individuals better prepare and recover when disaster strikes.
As part of his statement on his signing of the bill into law – the President noted the drought conditions in a number of Western states – including the severe drought in California. He said his Administration is pursuing every measure to provide relief and support in partnership with states. To complement the National Integrated Drought Information System – he said federal agencies have formed a National Drought Resilience Partnership as part of his Climate Action Plan to help communities better prepare for droughts in the long-term and prevent the worst impacts on families and businesses.