PIERRE, S.D. July 11, 2016 – Gov. Dennis Daugaard today (Monday) activated the state Drought Task Force to monitor drought conditions across South Dakota. The task force also held its first meeting today in Pierre.
The latest U.S. Drought Monitor indicates that abnormally dry conditions are scattered in the central and eastern parts of South Dakota. Moderate and severe drought conditions are found in most of western South Dakota as well as in the extreme northeastern part of the state. There are still areas of the state not considered to be in a drought.
“While rainfall has been adequate in some areas, the recent hot, dry weather has increased drought conditions in other parts of South Dakota,” Gov. Daugaard said. “The Drought Task Force gives us a way to share information so we can all respond appropriately. We want to be ready in case drought conditions persist.”
Task Force members will coordinate the exchange of drought information among government agencies as well as agriculture, fire and water-supply organizations. Officials say the exchange of information will allow the task force to better monitor the development and seriousness of the drought. The task force also will evaluate the impact of drought on economic sectors of the state.
State government agencies represented on the Drought Task Force include the:
- Governor’s Office
- Department of Agriculture
- Department of Public Safety
- Department of Environment and Natural Resources
- Department of Game, Fish and Parks
- Department of Health
- Department of Social Services
- Department of Tourism
- Department of Tribal Affairs
- South Dakota National Guard
- South Dakota State University
- Bureau of Information and Telecommunications
South Dakota’s drought monitor index can be found atdroughtmonitor.unl.edu/Home/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?SD.