For the better part of 2017, South Carolina saw an improvement in drought status for many of the state’s 55 counties, with the SC Drought Response Committee reporting 28 of those in ‘incipient’ (first stage of drought) status and the remaining 17 in ‘normal’ status on November 27. With regard to major rain events, Tropical Storm Irma brought noteworthy levels of rainfall to much of the state in mid-September, as well as coastal flooding. Because of the ongoing significant weather events that continue to threaten water resources and related infrastructure, Clemson’s SC Water Resources Center held its first Summit Series event entitled “Back to the Future of Drought” in April to begin bringing statewide water professionals together for issue specific forums during the ‘off ’ years of the biennial SC Water Resources Conference (SCWRC). The presentations and discussions during the summit fostered new collaborations and shortly after, the SC State Climatology Office took the lead in coordinating a Drought and Water Shortage Tabletop Exercise in September at the SC Emergency Operations Center, drawing 80 participants from across the state. Included in this issue of the journal is a short communication paper about the exercise. Continuing to build on the benefits of statewide networking and collaboration, the SC State Climatology Office has also developed a 2017-18 Climate Connection Workshop series in collaboration with the Carolinas Integrated Sciences and Assessments (CISA) and the Clemson SC Water Resources Center. The first workshop was held in Greenville in December, and workshops are to be scheduled in Columbia and Charleston in early 2018. In addition, SCDNR in partnership with SCDHEC, USGS, Clemson SC Water Resources Center and USACE, held stakeholder meetings during the fall focused on the state’s groundwater assessment. Events such as these, are filling the growing need to initiate collaborative efforts to positively impact water resources management, which in turn continue to grow the network of outreach.



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