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Navajo Nation Drought Contingency Plan 2004 Lessons Learned


Provide an effective and systematic means of assessing drought conditions. ... 25-40 % haul water for domestic use. Livestock are a $20 million per year industry ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Navajo Nation Drought Contingency Plan 2004 Lessons Learned

Navajo Nation Drought Contingency Plan
2004Lessons Learned
  • In Cooperation With
  • U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
  • Navajo Nation Department of Emergency Management
  • Navajo Nation Depart. of Water Resources-Water
    Mgnt. Branch

Goals and Objectives
  • Provide an effective and systematic means of
    assessing drought conditions.
  • Develop mitigation actions and programs to reduce
    risk in advance of drought
  • Develop response options that minimize hardships
    during drought

  • On-reservation population is gt 183,000
  • Encompasses more than 27,000 square miles
  • Per capita is less than ½ the U.S. average
  • 25-40 haul water for domestic use
  • Livestock are a 20 million per year industry
  • Traditional agriculture is worth 2 million
  • The Navajo Nation is confronted w/ frequent dry

Navajo Nation Government
  • Commission on Emergency Management (CEM) serves
    as the Nations emergency response commission,
    similar to the State emergency response
    commission, pursuant to the Federal Emergency
    Planning and Community-Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA)
  • Within the Executive Branch, the Divisions of
    Public Safety and Natural Resources have key
    roles in drought response

Commission on Emergency Management
  • Composed of six appointed individuals from the
    areas of law enforcement, health, fire fighting,
    environment, media and an elected official
  • With the concurrence of the Navajo Nation
    President declare a state of emergency
  • On behalf of the Navajo Nation, assist in seeking
    assistance from other government agencies

Division of Public Safety
  • Department of Emergency Management (DEM) which
    coordinates emergency responses w/ NN divisions,
    departments, local communities, and with federal,
    state, and county agencies
  • DEM develops and implements emergency procedures,
    and supervises emergency management services
    during declared emergencies

Division of Natural Resources
  • Oversees and manages 11 Departments
  • Department of Water Resources (DWR) is the
    primary department responsible for water
  • DWR is composed of
  • Safety of Dams Branch
  • Technical Construction and Operation Branch
  • Water Code Administration
  • Water Management Branch

Climate of the Navajo Nation
  • The NN climate is semi-arid region with periods
    of little to no rain, when a drought occurs the
    impacts are significant.
  • Monsoon season during July, August and
  • Average annual precipitation range from 7 to 16

Drought Vulnerability
  • Navajo water users vulnerable to drought
  • Domestic water haulers
  • Public drinking systems
  • Irrigators and dryland farmers
  • Ranchers
  • Recreation, wildlife and forestry

Navajo Nation Drought Monitoring
  • Categories of Drought Impacts Meteorological,
    Agricultural, Hydrological and Socioeconomic.
  • Drought Indices After reviewing several indices,
    the DWR selected the Six-month Standard
    Precipitation Index (SPI) as the most accurate
    and useful definition of drought determination
    for the Navajo Nation.
  • The SPI comes from the Western Regional Climate
    Center and Navajo Nation Water Management
    Branchs Climate Program.

Proposed Navajo Nation Drought Monitoring
  • 3 Components
  • To highlight and disseminate the 6 month SPI for
    all 3 climate divisions of the reservation
  • To relay information from the National Drought
    Mitigation Center to the appropriate Navajo
    Nation contacts
  • To provide Navajo Nation climate data and develop
    a Navajo Nation SPI for each Navajo Agency

Drought Mitigation
  • Mitigation includes short and long term actions,
    programs, or policies implemented to reduce the
    degree of risk to people, property, and
    productive capacity
  • It also reduces the cost of responding to

Navajo Nation Drought Mitigation Categories
  • Drought Monitoring
  • Domestic Water Haulers
  • Public Drinking Water Systems
  • Irrigation and dryland farmers
  • Ranchers
  • Recreation, wildlife and forestry
  • Reuse of treated effluent

Mitigation - Drought Monitoring
  • Climate monitoring is the basis for defining
    drought and triggering response.
  • Mitigation Measures
  • Reliable Internet Access and a Navajo Nation
  • drought information web site
  • Improve the Navajo Nation climate network

Mitigation - Domestic Water Haulers
  • Mitigation Measures
  • Improve storage facilities for water haulers
  • To set up pay per fill watering stations
  • Drought gasoline voucher programs similar to the
    livestock assistance program

Mitigation - Public Drinking Water Systems
  • Mitigation Measures
  • Diversify the source of water by adding
    non-alluvial wells
  • To add additional storage tanks to public water
  • Develop regional water system to meet demands
    over a 40-year period

Mitigation - Irrigators and Dryland Farmers
  • Mitigation Measures
  • Preparing water conservation and management
    plans, e.g., increasing irrigation efficiency,
    incorporating water users associations, improving
    the prediction of the timing and duration of the
    peak runoff, drilling of shallow alluvial wells.
  • Improving reservoir operations
  • Rehabilitating irrigation projects

Mitigation - Ranchers
  • Mitigation Measures
  • Establish an effective Navajo Nation Grazing
  • Improve range management through education
  • Provide additional assistance to ranchers
  • Improve the reliability of livestock supplies
  • Promote Livestock Sales
  • Public Awareness for WNV and Botulism

Mitigation - Recreation Wildlife
  • Mitigation Measures
  • Establish minimum pool levels within reservation
    reservoirs at a level of at least 5 feet deep to
    reduce catastrophic fish kills.
  • Irrigation would be discontinued if reservoir
    levels fall below these levels.
  • Use of a water permit would determine water

Mitigation - Forestry
  • Mitigation Measures for Fire Prevention
  • Fire Detection Suppression
  • Forest Restoration

Mitigation - Reuse of Treated Waste Water
  • Mitigation Measures
  • Use for construction purposes
  • For the re-establishment of riparian areas
  • Explore other avenues of use for recreation,
    athletic fields, agriculture, wildlife and other

(No Transcript)
Recommend Responses for Normal Conditions (SPI gt
  • Department of Water Resources (DWR) Water
    Management Branch (WMB)
  • Department of Emergency Management (DEM)
  • Commission on Emergency Management (CEM)
  • Chapters

Recommended Responses for Mild Conditions (SPI
between 0.0 0.99)
  • DWR- WMB
  • DEM
  • Department of Agriculture
  • Navajo Nation President
  • Drought Task Force (Division Directors)
  • CEM
  • Chapters

Recommended Responses for Moderate Conditions
(SPI between 1.00 1.49)
  • DWR- WMB
  • DEM
  • Department of Agriculture
  • Navajo Nation President
  • Drought Task Force (Division Directors)
  • CEM
  • Chapters
  • NTUA
  • Grazing Districts
  • Farm Boards
  • Soil and Water Conservation Districts

Recommended Responses for Severe or Emergency
Conditions (SPI lt -1.50)
  • Chapters
  • NTUA
  • Grazing Districts
  • Farm Boards
  • Soil and Water Conservation Districts
  • DWR- WMB
  • DEM
  • Dept. of Agriculture
  • Navajo Nation President
  • Drought Task Force (Division Directors)
  • CEM

Distribution of Drought Contingency Plan
  • In 2002 distributions were made to all Chapters,
    Delegates, Divisions, Farm Boards, Soil Water
    Conservation Districts, Federal, State and other
  • Available at the NN Records Management Department
    -- Approximately 20.00/copy

Lessons Learned-2002 to 2003
  • Education is key!
  • Navajo Nation Drought Task Force
  • Rather than reacting, mitigation of drought
  • Rethinking indices for drought stages.
  • When do you declare a drought emergency?
  • Revision of Drought Contingency Plan.
  • Again, education is essential!

Key Mitigation Efforts
  • Dissemination and education of all stakeholders.
  • Revisiting Navajo Nation Grazing Act.
  • Identifying drought vulnerability
  • Identifying outside resources
  • 2003 1 million from USBR for drought mitigation
  • 2004 900K from USBR for drought mitigation.

Questions and Answer
  • Department of Water Resources-Water Management
  • Office 928-729-4004 FAX 928-729-4126
  • Jolene Tallsalt Robertson, Hydrologist,
  • Robert Kirk, Hydrologist, robertkirk_at_mail.navajo
  • Teresa Showa, Hydrologist, teresashowa_at_mail.nava
  • Department of Emergency Management
  • Office 928-871-6892 FAX928-871-7261
  • Jimson Joe, Program Manager,
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