Friday, August 8, 2008

Are we in a drought?

Absolutely! Our state rainfall levels have fallen below average for the past 10 years, with maps showing that drought level conditions exist across the islands.

Rep. Clift Tsuji (far right) speaks on NCSL drought mitigation panel

Rep. Clift Tsuji, our House Agriculture Chair, was asked to speak on Hawaii's Drought Mitigation Plan as part of the 2008 National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) annual meeting last month. The plan is a result of Tsuji's legislation introduced in 2007, HB400, which became law as Act 238, and provided $4 million for implementation of the plan.

The presentation included the structure of the Hawaii Drought Council and how it addresses drought in three main areas: agriculture, water supply/environment, and public health/safety.

Joining him as speakers were Dr. Michael Hayes- School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska and Dr. Thomas Peterson- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Climatic Data Center, North Carolina. Senator Beverly Gard of Indiana was the moderator.

For comprehensive, up-to-date information on drought events, go to

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