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Satellite-Based Drought Reporting on the Navajo Nation
Journal of the American Water Resources Association  (IF3.202),  Pub Date : 2021-03-09, DOI: 10.1111/1752-1688.12909
A.J.K. McCullum, C. McClellan, B. Daudert, J. Huntington, R. Green, V. Ly, A.R.G. Marley, N.R. Tulley, C. Morton, K.C. Hegewisch, J.T. Abatzoglou, D. McEvoy

In data scarce regions of the world, co-produced management tools that combine remote sensing, modeled, and in situ data provide the information needed to support ground-based monitoring systems for improved water and natural resource management. On the Navajo Nation (N.N.), in the Four Corners of the southwestern United States, there is a need for data-driven management of water resources as the region is prone to water scarcity and emergency drought declarations, which have become more common under a changing climate. The current tools used by the N.N. Department of Water Resources largely lack the spatial detail, consistent measurements, and political and administrative information specific to their needs for determining appropriate response actions. The Drought Severity Evaluation Tool (DSET), a cloud-based web application that harnesses the capabilities of Google Earth Engine, is a user-friendly tool that pairs remotely sensed, modeled, and in situ data on the N.N. The DSET computing capabilities include on-the-fly generation of regional to field scale maps, time series figures, and reporting metrics that can assist in drought emergency declarations and the assistance to local communities through the subsequent allocation of relief dollars across the N.N. to the regions that need it most.