Tampa Bay Water Supply Manager Allison Adams knows water is precious for the millions of residents who rely on the water agency for drinking water and recreation, and for the region’s natural ecosystems, including wetlands and lakes. Adams and colleagues discuss how their evolving water management approach allows them to balance diverse water needs in the face of often unpredictable water sources and cycles.
Tampa Bay Water provides safe, potable drinking water to 2.3 million people in the Tampa Bay region. But future availability of surface water can be hard to predict, and drought is a recurring challenge there. The water utility managers are increasingly using seasonal climate forecasts to track climate variability, which helps them better plan their water supply and reduce their vulnerability to seasonal climate impacts.
The Spring Outlook encompasses temperature, precipitation, drought, and flooding expectations for the coming three months, and Mike Halpert, Acting Director of the Climate Prediction Center, discusses the outlook and its implications.
For the record books: A review of the ten most significant or unusual global climate or weather events of 2011, as ranked by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in its yearly review of the Earth’s climate.
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, an estimated 58 percent of the contiguous United States was in some level of drought as of January 29, with an additional 12 percent in the “Abnormally dry” category.