The Everything Disaster: Reporting Drought in the American West

▪︎ AUGUST 5, 2021, 11:00 A.M. MT ▪︎

Scarce water and unrelenting heat are rattling the states west of the Mississippi River. Wildfires this year have already charred more than 2.8 million acres and darkened the skies for thousands of miles. Household wells are going dry, large reservoirs on the Colorado River are dangerously low, and farmers from California to Oregon and Idaho are being told no irrigation water is available. Salmon and marine life, meanwhile, are succumbing to record-breaking heat

Is this an unusually severe drought — or something altogether different? 

On Thursday, August 5, working journalists are invited to join a roundtable of experienced journalists and subject-matter experts to discuss the drying of the American West, what it means, and how to report it. The roundtable is brought to you by Circle Blue and the Society of Environmental Journalists.

August 17, 2021 Update: The event has now passed, but you are invited to watch the lively conversation and access resources and links.

In this hour-long session and lively and Q&A, you will learn about:
–Data sources and tools for finding current statistics on reservoir levels, fire movements, dry well reports, crop conditions, and more
–Story ideas
–Scientific context for the region’s drought crisis
–How to spot special interests and avoid the pitfalls and clichés

Thursday’s roundtable will be moderated by:
Trish Wilson, National editor, climate and environment team, The Washington Post

Featuring:
Heather Cooley, Pacific Institute
Peter Gleick, Pacific Institute
Cody Pope, Vector Center 
Johannes Cullmann, World Meteorological Organization 

Panel:
Brett Walton, Circle of Blue
Faith Kearns, California Institute for Water Resources
Laura Paskus, New Mexico PBS


Related:
Tune into the public event, Drought in the American West: The Everything Disaster
Wednesday, August 4, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. MT
VIEW LIVESTREAM OF PUBLIC EVENT


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