Drought is a prolonged period of unusually low rainfall, or a shortage of water resulting from the lack of rain. The Sac and Fox Nation has a unique relationship to the land and water and is susceptible to climate extremes like drought. The One Water video describes our relationship to water and climate.
Annual Precipitation History
Oklahoma experienced an extreme drought recently that ended with severe flooding in 2015. This pattern demonstrates what to expect, and what to prepare for in the future. The figure below shows the historical pattern of wet and dry periods in Central Oklahoma since 1895.
To learn more about major drought events in our region, a historical drought analysis of Central Oklahoma can be found in the Central Oklahoma Drought Report by the University of Oklahoma.
Current drought conditions are also regularly updated on the Oklahoma Water Resources Board Drought Monitoring website:
Faced with the likelihood of longer and more frequent drought episodes in the near future, as predicted by climate scientists, the Nation requires a long-term strategy to minimize its social, economic and environmental vulnerability to drought and climate extremes. Changing climate conditions require adaptation strategies, including water conservation and conducting water supply planning in order to meet the water resource needs of future generations.
The Office of Environmental Services developed a Climate Resilience Steering Committee (CRSC) that was established and approved by Tribal Resolution SF-17-174 during a Regular Business committee Meeting August 15th, 2017.
The CRSC mission is to strengthen Sac and Fox Nation’s ability to persevere over the challenges of climate related events and issues by engaging tribal members, employees, and leadership in active communication to provide guidance for effective Climate Resilience actions.
The CRSC goals provided by the Charter are to:
Increase tribal knowledge and understanding of the impacts of climate change.
Increase effectiveness of Climate Resilience actions by prioritizing Climate related issues.
Maintain/facilitate open dialogue among tribal members, staff, and leadership, to encourage exchange of knowledge and information.
Provide a mechanism for Tribal Members and Leadership to communicate their issues and concerns regarding Climate Resilience.
The Sac and Fox Nation is pursuing grant funds from the Bureau of Indian Affairs Climate Resilience program to develop strategies to define the best ways to prepare for and respond to drought conditions. The grant solicitation can be viewed here: Tribal Resilience and Ocean and Coastal Management and Planning