Climate projections suggest persistent droughts over the continental United States that are longer, cover more area, and are more intense than what has been experienced in the 20th century. Unlike hurricanes, which have a clear beginning and end, drought is a slow on-set hazard and its effects are not felt at once and can only be partially anticipated. Further, drought has unique characteristics that exacerbate other hazards, like wildfire and flooding.
This guide makes the case for establishing drought as a priority for local planning. Planners are central in influencing land-use patterns and helping communities guide how development and redevelopment occur. Planners do this by planning at all scales, creating land-use regulations, and reviewing development projects. This provides opportunities to address drought.