DROUGHT POLICY IN THE U.S. AND AUSTRALIA: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS1

Authors

  • Donald A. Wilhite

    1. Associate Professor, Center for Agricultural Meteorology and Climatology, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 241 L. W. Chase Hall, Lincoln, Nebraska 68583–0728.
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  • 1

    Paper No. 85054 of the Water Resources Bulletin. Discussions are open until February 1, 1987. (Published as Paper No. 7733, Journal Series, Nebraska Agricultural Experiment Station. The work reported here was conducted under Nebraska Agricultural Experiment Station Project 27–001.)

Abstract

ABSTRACT: Federal and state governments in the United States and Australia have come to play a key role in attempts to mitigate the impact of drought. Government actions have usually taken the form of loans and grants to individual citizens, businesses and municipalities experiencing the hardship of drought. Most of these actions have occurred in an environment of crisis management, rather than as a result of clearly stated policy objectives. Based on a review and evaluation of recent drought policy in the United States and Australia, recommendations are offered on ways to improve the United States’approach. A national drought plan is suggested as an efficient mechanism through which these recommendations could be implemented. States should also become more actively involved in drought assessment and response, but these actions must be coordinated with federal actions.

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