As I began to research more and more about droughts, I was immediately curious as to what different states are doing to prepare for and fight against droughts. Water is life, and climate change is directly affecting access and quality of water. With this in mind, I began looking at whether states had plans in place or just fancy rhetoric.
Most of the measures focus on ensuring there is enough water available during drought, but there are no specifics about public health-related measures. The city of Berkeley has more measures in place that include assessments on water resources, and Los Angeles has measures to prepare for increased drought conditions.
The plan in Maryland includes ensuring water availability.
In New York, the plan monitors the possibility of droughts and maintains water stockpiles.
The plan in New Hampshire identifies drought as a health-related threat, but does not include measures to address the issue. Specific cities also are increasing water storage capacity.
The plan focuses on improving technical assistance and establishing incentives to increase water storage.
The state of Pennsylvania recommends to implement measures to prevent health-related aspects of drought.
In Washington, the plan focuses on insuring adequate drinking water and fire protections.
Wisconsin’s plan is to minimize threats to public health and safety by anticipating extreme weather events.
The plan identifies drought as a health-related threat, but does not include specific measures.
As I kept reading through more and more state's alleged plans, I kept finding “measures,” but not a lot of action. I was even more shocked that only 9 states had developed preparedness plans. With climate change as an increasing threat, it is truly imperative that all states and local governments address drought as an increasing possibility.
Information from http://www.nrdc.org/health/climate/drought.asp