Group Members: Cody Venier, Zachary Schwarz, Chelsea Benjamin, Evan Gallant 

In the arid West, developers, contractors, investors, and land-use planners are faced with making difficult long-term decisions around water scarcity. Counties and municipalities require accessible decision-making tools and resources to help inform new development and ensure long-term sustainability. NIDIS provides drought information tools and is working to understand the needs of land-use planners in planning for drought. A recent October 2019 American Planning Association report found that in conversations with planners, accessing, interpreting, and using hazards-related data and information is  a major barrier. The MENV team plans to help NIDIS determine what is needed to bridge these gaps and provide key organizations with the information they need to effectively plan for drought.

This project proposes to engage in partnerships with member-based organizations, such asthe Urban Land Institute and/or the National Association of Counties, the American Planning Association, as well as home builders’ associations, government agencies, and nonprofits to examine the drought-information needs of land-use planners and better understand how developers and investors are incorporating drought risk into portfolio construction and development decisions. The project will also be used to help land-use planners access, interpret, and use drought information for decision-making.