Evolution of the Southwest Drought Learning Network

Emile Elias, Brian Fuchs, Joel Lisonbee, Tonya Bernadt, Viktorya Martinez, Tonya Haigh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The 2018 exceptional drought over the Colorado Plateau motivated unprecedented responses by individuals and organizations. Some of these responses made clear that proactive adaptive measures were fundamental to drought resilience. Climate service organizations (CSOs) supporting and observing these responses realized the utility of a network to share and document successful drought responses. In February 2020, a small group of CSOs and resource managers (RMs) met to envision the Southwest Drought Learning Network (DLN) to align with other existing efforts, but with the specific goal of enabling peer-to-peer learning to build resilience to future droughts. Since then, the network has grown into five organized teams focused on specific aspects of building drought resilience. Team activities include sharing case studies to help others learn from past experiences, hosting monthly drought briefings that introduce drought data and management tools, identifying information needed to support critical management decisions, innovating and sharing new and traditional drought monitoring technologies, and building drought resilience with indigenous communities. The network allows for collaboration and leveraging partner resources and strengths. The DLN website (https://dln.swclimatehub.info/) hosts more information about network teams and activities. This innovative network continues to grow in response to management needs and water scarcity in the region. For the benefit of others who may be considering a similar network and supporting peer-to-peer learning, we document the history, process, and lessons learned regarding the Southwest DLN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E935-E942
JournalBulletin of the American Meteorological Society
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2023


  • Adaptation
  • Agriculture
  • Climate change
  • Climate services
  • Decision support
  • Hydrologic cycle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Evolution of the Southwest Drought Learning Network'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this