At the conclusion of the Drought Research Initiative we expect to say that:

  • We have greatly increased our understanding of drought through a focus on the recent 1999-2005 one over the Prairies and we have applied this to improved prediction.
  • We have left a legacy of comprehensive datasets, improved observational and modelling techniques, a new generation of drought scientists, and a public better educated about drought.
  • We have, in partnership with others in Canada and internationally, developed a plan to improve drought and water cycle prediction at multiple scales.

At the end of each workshop, we will produce a short statement that summarizes our collective status in relation to our final ones. These statements are:

  • April 2011: The end of DRI was extended an extra four months past its initial December 2010 ending. This allowed us to realize the ‘concluding’ statements that we initially established in 2005.
  • May 2010: We are concluding many of our scientific studies and are focusing more on synthesis. We have increased our interactions with international research projects and with operational agencies and we have also increased our outreach activities. Our legacy projects are now very specific and we have developed our plans to ensure that these are completed by the end of the project.
  • January 2009: We have made substantial progress in unravelling the factors controlling the evolution of drought and we have better placed this drought into a larger context. We have contributed to national and international efforts addressing drought and other extremes and we have increased interactions with those affected by drought. We are establishing our legacy framework including scientific syntheses, contributions to operational agencies, and outreach activities to the general public.
  • January 2008: We have continued to add datasets to characterize drought and to investigate the many factors leading to, sustaining and ending drought. We have developed interactions with other groups examining drought and other extremes in the United States and elsewhere. Our partners have organized an advisory group to ensure that there are strong two-way interactions with researchers. We are organizing our synthesis article on drought characterization and we have developed a strategy to assess and to contribute to improved predictive capabilities.
  • January 2007: We have better characterized the recent drought, we have made progress in understanding several of the drought’s individual aspects and we made initial contacts with other international efforts addressing drought. We have learned more about the impacts of this and other droughts and we have developed a plan to better address our partners’ concerns. We need to better synthesize the information characterizing drought, we need to better assess predictions of the drought and we need to develop a better means of comparing droughts through collaboration with other activities.
  • January 2006: We have brought together our diverse teams of researchers and partners for the first time. We have learned more about the importance of drought, we have illustrated our individual research objectives and interests, and we have summarized our overall plans. We also decided to press ahead with addressing comparisons and society interactions. Challenges that we face include improving our data management plans and developing a more specific strategy for working together.