NIWA drought “tool”?

A new tool will allow daily drought information to be made available to farmers and water managers, allowing them to see which regions are the driest.

The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research has spent two years putting the New Zealand Drought Index together…

The index takes into account rainfall and soil moisture to colour code a map of New Zealand to show the severity of drought in each region.

Each region in New Zealand is then colour-coded with five categories of drought from ‘dry’ to ‘severe drought’.

NIWA climate scientist Andrew Tait said it would be a one-stop shop for farmers, irrigators, water managers and others to know about dry conditions.

“Essentially we had a number of different indicators of drought. There were maps on how much rainfall there’s been over the last 15 or 30 days or 60 days,” he said.

“There were products … that looked at the soil moisture and how that has been changing over time.

“But there wasn’t any one single index people could go to for the definitive description of drought conditions.

You can bookmark the page here. ?The more data that is made available to the public, the better.