201 Stephenson Parkway, Suite 2100 Norman, OK 73019

Community Resilience

Toward Enhancing the Resilience of Indigenous, Rural, & Vulnerable Communities

Across the south-central U.S., Tribes, rural communities, and vulnerable populations are increasingly threatened by climate-related stressors to their cultural resources, water resources, and biodiversity. Other areas are losing land to eustatic sea-level rise, subsidence, urbanization, or water diversion structures. For this theme, we will team with colleagues at the NOAA Regional Integrated Sciences & Assessments Programs and USDA Climate Hubs in the region, allowing each to focus on the populations they serve best.


Our Team

Established in October 2018, the Enhancing the Resilience of Indigenous, Rural, and Vulnerable Communities Working Group has seven members:

Caitlin Rottler (co-chair), USDA ARS

Azmal Hossan, Colorado State University

Ethan Schuth, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

Barney Austin, Aqua Strategies

April Taylor (co-chair), Chickasaw Nation

Renia Ehrenfeucht, University of New Mexico

Doug Kluck, NOAA’s Regional Climate Services – Central Region

Our Projects

Our group proposes to develop a set of guidelines to help water providers in the above-mentioned communities better prepare for future droughts. Improving the reliability of supply and resilience to drought will help these communities grow, physically and economically. Building on the results of climate change studies across the region, the guidelines will focus on the vulnerability of water supplies and help these communities identify the best options for enhancing water supply resilience.

These options could include traditional and newer methods such as:

  • Building new reservoirs
  • Drilling new wells
  • Conservation
  • Reuse
  • Rainwater harvesting