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In this webinar, the attendees heard one of the key contributors to the manual, Dr. Rajendra Pandey, who explained how the manual was written to aid policy-makers across India. The developers of the tool, Dr Simon Parry and Mr Thomas Chiston, then provided a demonstration of the web-application and highlighted the decisions that the Manual for Drought Management allows water-managers to choose from, and how these affect the declaration of drought.
This work has been conducted through a work package of the SUNRISE programme led by UKCEH, which is aiming to improve livelihoods and well-being through development of research into environmental risk, reliability of food supply and improving environmental quality. SUNRISE has seen collaboration between UKCEH and partner organisations in India, helping to develop hydro-climate services for improved water resource management and flood and drought forecasting. Further developments of the programme include an investigation into the alignment between drought indices described in the Manual for Drought Management, and observed drought in rainfall datasets. The project is an Indo-UK collaboration between UKCEH and the National Institute of Hydrology.
The target audience for this webinar were both drought policy-makers and water-managers who implement the guidelines described in the Manual for Drought Management. The web-application has been designed for these groups to be the primary user-base. Researchers in the field of drought management were also interested in the topic, and how the web-application will be used for future drought research.
Dr Rajendra Prasad Pandey: One of the most senior figures in Indian drought forecasting and monitoring. In his role as Scientist ‘G’ at the National Institute of Hydrology, he helped to develop the Manual for Drought Management.
Dr Simon Parry: Drought management and forecasting expert at UKCEH, with over 10 years of experience in his field. He has led numerous projects focussed on drought characteristics, spatio-temporal evolution and termination.
Mr Thomas Chitson: Early career researcher at UKCEH who has developed a Shiny App to visualise drought declaration in the Maharashtra State. His primary area of research is in drought-declaration. He holds an MSc Applied Meteorology and Climatology (2018) and a BSc Physics (2017) from the University of Birmingham.