After 3 years of refinement the NSW dpi has release its new drought information system. Whilst no-one likes to discuss drought or drought conditions, planning and acknowledgement of the situation is an integral key to surviving drought. Known as EDIS (Enhanced Drought Information System) the system provides much more than a tool to identify drought areas but focussed on a proactive approach to drought planning and assistance, the 3 keys aims of EDIS are;
- Build drought risk awareness
- Emphasise drought preparedness
- Improve confidence in drought monitoring and early warning, and move away from ‘in-crisis’ drought management
Another key part of EDIS is the Combined Drought Indicator (CDI). CDI is a highly technical tool built combining meteorological, hydrological and agronomic definitions of drought with a range of complex data to model outputs in a format that is easily accessible and understood at all levels. CDI uses indexes of;
- Soil water
- Plant growth
- Drought Direction
Drought Direction is the outcome of the combination of the 3 indexes, this then flows into a assessing the stage of drought which has been categorised into 5 phases:
- Drought onset
The EDIS system is still in its infancy and in the coming months we will see better utilisation and accuracy down to a farm level. This will also allow the government to be better prepared and informed looking to improve and streamline rollout drought assistance packages if needed.
Currently in NSW 28.8% is in Drought or Drought Onset with 63.6% on Drought Watch.
With April – June Forecast updated the situation is far from dire but we are not looking at a bumper start to the winter cropping season.
Latest CDI update was 2/4/18
For further reading see the NSW DPI at below link