Drought product of a region’s exposure to the natural

Drought
Mitigation

Litrarure
Review
Introduction:
What
is drought annd clmate change and its interconnectionits imapct

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World
wide scienario with example
Mitigation
measures used in world scanario
best
practices

Drought
is considered by many to be the most complex but least understood of
all natural hazards,

affecting
more people than any other hazard (G.Hagman 1984). However, there
remains much

confusion
within the scientific and policy communities about its
characteristics. It is precisely this

confusion
that explains, to some extent, the lack of progress in drought
preparedness in most parts of

the
world. Drought is a slow-onset, creeping natural hazard that is a
normal part of climate for

virtually
all regions of the world; it results in serious economic, social, and
environmental impacts.

Drought
onset and end are often difficult to determine, as is its severity.
The impacts of drought are

largely
non-structural and spread over a larger geographical area than are
damages from other natural

hazards.
The non-structural characteristic of drought impacts has certainly
hindered the development

of
accurate, reliable, and timely estimates of severity and, ultimately,
the formulation of drought

preparedness
plans by most governments. The impacts of drought, like those of
other hazards, can be

reduced
through mitigation and preparedness.

Drought
preparedness planning should be considered an essential component of
integrated water

resources
management. Increasing society’s capacity to cope more effectively
with the extremes of

climate
and water resources variability (i.e., floods and droughts) is a
critical aspect of integrated water

resources
management. Drought preparedness planning will also provide
substantial benefit in

preparing
for potential changes in climate. Historically, more emphasis has
been given to flood

management
than drought management. With increasing pressure on water and other
natural resources

because
of increasing and shifting populations (i.e., regional and rural to
urban), it is imperative for all

nations
to improve their capacity to manage water supplies during water-short
years.

Drought
risk is a product of a region’s exposure to the natural hazard and
its vulnerability to extended

periods
of water shortage(D.A.Wilhite 2000). If nations and regions are to
make progress in reducing

the
serious consequences of drought, they must improve their
understanding of the hazard and the

factors
that influence vulnerability. It is critical for drought-prone
regions to better understand their

drought
climatology (i.e., the probability of drought at different levels of
intensity and duration) and

establish
comprehensive and integrated drought information system that
incorporate climate, soil, and

water
supply factors such as precipitation, temperature, soil moisture,
snow pack, reservoir and lake

levels,
ground water levels, and stream flow. All drought-prone nations
should develop national

drought
policies and preparedness plans that place emphasis on risk
management rather than following

the
traditional approach of crisis management, where the emphasis is on
reactive, emergency response

measures.
Crisis management decreases self-reliance and increases dependence on
government and

donors.

Types
of drought

Droughts
can be classified in four major categories:


Meteorological
drought: it simply implies rainfall deficiency where the
precipitation is reduced

by
more than 25%from normal in any given area. These are region
specific, since deficiency of

precipitation
is highly variable from region to region.


Hydrological
drought: these are associated with the deficiency of water on surface
or subsurface

due
to shortfall in precipitation. Although all droughts have their
origination from deficiency in

precipitation,
hydrological drought is mainly concerned about how this deficiency
affects

components
of the hydrological system such as soil moisture, stream flow, ground
water and

reservoir
levels etc.


Agricultural
drought: this links various characteristics of meteorological or
hydrological drought

to
agricultural impacts, focusing on precipitation shortages,
differences between actual potential

evapotranspiration,
soil, soil water deficits, and reduced ground water or reservoir
levels. Plant

water
demand depends on prevailing weather conditions, biological
characteristics of the specific

plant,
and its stage of growth and the physical and biological properties of
the soil.


Socio-economic
drought: it is associated with the demand and supply aspect of
economic goods

together
with elements of meteorological, hydrological and agricultural
drought. This type of

drought
mainly occurs when there the demand for an economic good exceeds its
supply due to

weather
related shortfall in water supply

Impacts
of Drought

The
impacts of a drought can be economic, environmental or social.
Drought produces a complex web

of
impacts that spans many sectors of the economy and reaches well
beyond the area experiencing

physical
drought. This complexity exists because water is integral to society’
ability to produce goods

s

and
provide services. Impacts are commonly referred to as direct and
indirect. Direct impacts include

reduced
crop, rangeland, and forest productivity, increased fire hazard,
reduced water levels, increased

livestock
and wildlife mortality rates, and damage to wildlife and fish
habitat. The consequences of

these
direct impacts illustrate indirect impacts. For example, a reduction
in crop, rangeland, and forest

productivity
may result in reduced income for farmers and agribusiness, increased
prices for food and

timber,
unemployment, reduced tax revenues because of reduced expenditures,
foreclosures on bank

loans
to farmers and businesses, migration, and disaster relief programs.

Economic
impacts

Many
economic impacts occur in agriculture and related sectors, including
forestry and fisheries,

because
of the reliance of these sectors on surface and subsurface water
supplies. In addition to

obvious
losses in yields in crop and livestock production, drought is
associated with increases in insect

infestations,
plant disease, and wind erosion. Droughts also bring increased
problems with insects and

diseases
to forests and reduce growth. The incidence of forest and range fires
increases substantially

during
extended droughts, which in turn places both human and wildlife
populations at higher levels of

risk.

Environmental
Impacts

Environmental
losses are the result of damages to plant and animal species,
wildlife habitat, and air

and
water quality; forest and range fires; degradation of landscape
quality; loss of biodiversity; and

soil
erosion. Some of the effects are short-term and conditions quickly
return to normal following the

end
of the drought. Other environmental effects linger for some time or
may even become permanent.

Wildlife
habitat, for example, may be degraded through the loss of wetlands,
lakes, and vegetation.

However,
many species will eventually recover from this temporary aberration.
The degradation of

landscape
quality, including increased soil erosion, may lead to a more
permanent loss of biological

productivity
of the landscape. Although environmental losses are difficult to
quantify, growing public

awareness
and concern for environmental quality has forced public officials to
focus greater attention

and
resources on these effects.

Social
Impacts

Social
impacts involve public safety, health, conflicts between water users,
reduced quality of life, and

inequities
in the distribution of impacts and disaster relief. Many of the
impacts identified as economic

and
environmental have social components as well. Population migration is
a significant problem in

many
countries, often stimulated by a greater supply of food and water
elsewhere. Migration is usually

to
urban areas within the stressed area, or to regions outside the
drought area. Migration may even be

to
adjacent countries. When the drought has abated, the migrants seldom
return home, depriving rural

areas
of valuable human resources. The drought migrants place increasing
pressure on the social

infrastructure
of the urban areas, leading to increased poverty and social unrest.

Preventive
measures Preparedness plan • Dams/reservoirs and wetlands to store
water • Improvement in agriculture through modifying cropping
patterns • Watershed management and introducing drought-resistant
varieties of crops • Water rationing • Management of rangeland
with improvement of grazing patterns, • Cattle management
introduction of feed and protection of shrubs and trees. • Proper
selection of crop for drought-affected areas • Development of water
resource system with improved irrigation, • Levelling,
soil-conservation techniques development of improved storage
facilities, • Reducing deforestation and fire-wood cutting in the
affected areas protection of surface water from evaporation and
introduction • Alternative land-use models for water sustainability
of drop irrigation system • Checking of migration and providing
alternate employment • Animal husbandry activities can help in
mitigation with use of improved • Education and training to the
people and scientific methods • Participatory community programmes

reff:
G.Hagman
(1984). “Prevention Better than cure: Report on Human and
Natural Disasters in the Third

World,
Swedish Red Cross,Stockholm.”

D.A.Wilhite
(2000). Drought as a Natural Hazard: Concepts and Definitions.
Drought: A Global

Assessment.
W. D.A., Routlegde. Vol.1: pp.1-3.