Alberta's Drought and Excess Moisture Risk Management Plan: Action Plan

 
 
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 Near normal conditions | Exceptional/Notable conditions | Extreme conditions
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Taking all of the strategies and actions described in Alberta's Drought and Excess Moisture Risk Management Plan (ADEMRMP) for Preparedness, Monitoring and Reporting, and Response, the Action Plan describes how these strategies can be applied on a scenario basis as described by the three moisture levels:
  • Normal or Near Normal Conditions
  • Exceptional / Notable Conditions
  • Extreme Conditions.
These three levels are determined by the current levels of soil moisture and recent precipitation and temperature trends.

There is no single map, or any simple and consistent way (using maps alone) to determine Normal or Near Normal Conditions, Exceptional / Notable Conditions, and Extreme Conditions. In fact, the suite of maps that we use to determine the current “conditions” with respect to soil moisture varies with time of year and the type of water shortage (acute or chronic) for crop, livestock, farm water supplies, etc.

From a scientific perspective, the maps help describe how the current conditions developed, and the severity and extent of the “condition”. The final assessment of the “Condition” is ultimately a decision driven by many different factors including maps, social, economic and political considerations.

When each of the levels of moisture conditions is identified through monitoring, the Action Plan identifies the possible actions of the Drought and Excess Moisture Advisory Group (DEMAG) and partner agencies.

Actions During Normal or Near Normal Conditions

The province is experiencing normal or near normal precipitation, weather patterns and hydrologic conditions.
Described by:Frequency of condition occurrence
moderately lowdrier than this, on average, less than once in 3 years
near normalon average, this occurs 1 in 3 years
moderately highwetter than this, on average, less than once in 3 years

Reporting frequency is regular, with maps available through AgroClimatic Information Service (ACIS).

Preparedness ActionsMonitoring/Reporting ActionsResponse Actions
Producers have access to technical expertise and financial assistance to assist with switching from drought-prone water supplies to more secure water supplies.

DEMAG member agencies provide access to up-to-date information for producers in the agriculture sector on the actions needed to prepare to deal with the variability in soil moisture on an on-going basis.

Producers have tools to evaluate water supplies and water use needs.

Producers are encouraged to participate in risk management/insurance programs offered by AFSC.

The DEMAG coordinates an independent evaluation of activities during the previous drought and Excess moisture events and recommends changes to improve the ADEMRMP.
DEMAG member agencies monitor and assess drought-related provincial weather data.

DEMAG member agencies provide reports to the DEMAG and stakeholders about current conditions.

Maps describing Alberta's weather, climate and related agriculture features can be accessed with AgroClimatic Information Service (ACIS).

Moisture situation updates for the agricultural region of Alberta posted on Ropin’ the Web, with highlights of the update and maps sent to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development and his rural caucus colleagues.
DEMAG member agencies work on policy issues as required.
Actions During Exceptional or Notable Conditions

The province or a portion of the province is operating under the potential for drought or excess moisture conditions, with lower or higher than normal precipitation and soil moisture levels.
Described by:Frequency of condition occurrence
lowdrier than this, on average, less than once in 6-years
very lowdrier than this, on average, less than once in 12-years
highwetter than this, on average, less than once in 6-years
very highwetter than this, on average, less than once in 12-years

Reporting frequency is regular, with maps available through AgroClimatic Information Service (ACIS).

Preparedness ActionsMonitoring/Reporting ActionsResponse Actions
The DEMAG will advise the Ministers of the partner agencies of the critical soil moisture conditions, and provide reports on preparedness, policies and currently available programs through the report to Ministers of partner agencies.

DEMAG member agencies provide preparedness material specific to affected areas (geographic, soil, and climate zones), through a variety of media.

AF will prepare communications for producers, affected municipalities and other stakeholders on the soil moisture conditions.

The DEMAG, with municipal input, will identify possible actions suited to the needs of the affected areas.

Producers can access information through the internet at Ropin’ the Web, by calling the Ag-Info Centre, listening to Call of the Land, and through other media.

Producers have access to the AF Water Pumping Program to top-up dwindling dugouts or to remove excess moisture.
Increased monitoring and reporting from those described for normal conditions.

DEMAG member agencies monitor and assess soil moisture related weather data from across the province, but with increased focus on the areas facing exceptional moisture conditions.

DEMAG member agencies provide reports to the Ministers of the partner agencies, DEMAG, and other stakeholders about current conditions.

Moisture situation updates for the agricultural region of Alberta posted on Ropin’ the Web and sent to the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry and his rural caucus colleagues,
The DEMAG works with municipal representatives to identify appropriate options for action in the affected areas.

Information flow is through, but not limited to, media and internet.

Actions During Extreme Conditions

The province or a portion of the province is suffering drought or excess moisture, that is: extreme conditions, according to the indices. Severe soil moisture shortage and precipitation deficit or severe moisture and flooding exist. Preparedness Actions no longer apply, and Reporting and Response Actions are required.

Described by:Frequency of condition occurrence
Extremely lowdrier than this, on average, less than once in 25-years
Extremely highwetter than this, on average, less than once in 25-years

Reporting frequency is monthly, with weekly maps available through AgroClimatic Information Service (ACIS).

Monitoring/Reporting ActionsResponse Actions
DEMAG member agencies monitor and assess soil moisture-related weather data from across the province, adding impact analysis for drought-affected areas and information from field reports.

Moisture Situation Updates for the agricultural region of Alberta are sent to the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry and rural caucus colleagues, and posted on Ropin’ the Web.

DEMAG member agencies provide additional updates to the MLAs, Ministers of the partner agencies, the DEMAG, and to other stakeholders about current conditions.

DEMAG member agencies prepare communications for producers, affected municipalities and others on the drought situation and drought-related activities.

The DEMAG recommends possible drought response options to the appropriate Minister.

Communicate/share current conditions and possible options to the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties, and to other affected provinces
AF prepares AgriNews submissions and Call of the Land radio spots to inform the agricultural community of decision-making options during the situation.

Provide timely information on risk management programs at extension meetings.

Attend industry led meetings to provide risk management information.

Livestock owners can access a hay listing on Ropin the Web for some available feed sources.

Municipalities and partner agencies assess available feed and water supplies and make information available to affected producers.

Producers have access to information and programs that will help to reduce the impact of extreme conditions.

Deliver AF’s water pumping program.

Emergency water pumping equipment is available as part of the provincial flood response.

AFSC’s claim processes are reviewed and adjusted during drought conditions to provide timely responses to producers without unduly increasing program risk.

Provide timely precipitation and soil moisture, as well as anecdotal, information as recommendations to AAFC for municipal designation for the federal tax deferral benefit.

Work with DEMAG member agencies to explore options such as:
· access to public pasture
· access to Ducks Unlimited acreage
· roadside grazing/haying opportunities
· water pumping priorities.

To assist in facing the effects of moisture extremes, information should include Mental Health Line at 1-877-303-2642.
 
 
 
 

Other Documents in the Series

 
  Alberta's Drought and Excess Moisture Risk Management Plan: Action Plan - Current Document
Preparing for Extreme Soil Moisture Conditions
Monitoring and Reporting Precipitation and Soil Moisture Conditions
Drought and Excess Moisture Response Actions
Agriculture Drought and Excess Moisture Risk Management Plan for Alberta
 
 
 
 
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Isabel Simons-Everett.
This information published to the web on September 1, 2004.
Last Reviewed/Revised on July 5, 2016.