GSI is helping to develop a drought contingency plan for the North Santiam River Watershed. This effort will help local stakeholders assess drought vulnerability and build resiliency to future droughts.

Background

Drought contingency planning is growing increasingly important in the Pacific Northwest because of the effects of climate change on precipitation. In recent years, some summertime river levels have reached historic lows due to rapid melting of low winter snow packs. Assessing which resources and assets are most vulnerable to a limited water supply—and preparing contingency plans—is becoming a requirement for municipalities and water districts to create resiliency and manage the challenging conditions created by climate change and drought.

GSI’s Solution

To help with this, GSI is developing a drought contingency plan for the North Santiam River Watershed. The effort is in partnership with the Santiam Water Control District, North Santiam River Watershed Council, and the City of Salem. Work includes a drought monitoring framework and vulnerability assessment to identify the most vulnerable resources in a drought. Next, we will help establish mitigation actions to create resiliency to future droughts. We will also identify short-term response measures that can be implemented in a drought.