(a) In general
The Secretary shall coordinate with the Director of the National Drought Mitigation Center and the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to enhance the collection of data to improve the accuracy of the United States Drought Monitor.
To the maximum extent practicable, the Secretary shall utilize a consistent source or sources of data for programs that are based on drought or precipitation indices, such as the livestock forage disaster program established under section 9081(c) of this title or policies or plans of insurance established under the Federal Crop Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.).
Not later than 1 year after December 20, 2018, the Secretary shall conduct a review of—
(1) the types of data currently utilized by the United States Drought Monitor;
(2) the geographic coverage and density of existing data collection sites; and
(3) other meteorological or climatological data that is being collected by other Federal agencies, State and local governments, and non-Federal entities that could be utilized by the United States Drought Monitor.
(d) Improvements (1) In general
Upon the completion of the review prescribed in subsection (c), the Secretary shall—
(A) seek to expand the collection of relevant data in States or geographic areas where coverage is currently lacking as compared to other States or geographic areas; and
(B) to the maximum extent practicable, develop standards to allow the integration of meteorological or climatological data into the United States Drought Monitor derived from—
(i) in-situ soil moisture profile measuring devices;
(ii) citizen science (as defined in the Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Act (15 U.S.C. 3724)), including data from the Cooperative Observer Program of the National Weather Service; and
(iii) other Federal agencies, State and local governments, and non-Federal entities.
(2) Authorization of appropriations
There is to be authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out this subsection $5,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2019 through 2023.
REFERENCES IN TEXT The Federal Crop Insurance Act, referred to in subsec. (b), is subtitle A of title V of act Feb. 16, 1938, ch. 30, 52 Stat. 72, which is classified generally to subchapter I (§1501 et seq.) of chapter 36 of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 1501 of this title and Tables.CODIFICATION Section was enacted as part of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, and not as part of subtitle C of title XVI of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 which comprises this subchapter.DEFINITION OF "SECRETARY" "Secretary" means the Secretary of Agriculture, see section 2 of Pub. L. 115–334, set out as a note under section 9001 of this title.
7 U.S.C. § 5856 (2018)