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Drought Facts

Drought is a continuous period of dry weather and can last months or even years. They can cause famine, and even deserts can be created.

A drought is a natural event that may be triggered by humans, natural events. It may take place over a long period of time and may last for months to years.

Drought can be caused by a lack of precipitation and can be caused by a lack of water in a river. Drought can also be caused by people using too much water during times of normal rainfall.

Drought Facts for Kid

  • Crops can’t grow in a drought.
  • Drought can be natural or man-made.
  • It may be caused by weather patterns.
  • Water shortage is a big cause of drought
  • Erosion of soil can also cause drought.
  • Deforestation can cause drought

What is a Drought

A drought is an event in which there is a lack of water supply that can last for months or years. Periods of heat can worsen drought conditions.

Drought has been a recurring feature of the climate in most parts of the world but has become more extreme and unpredictable due to climate change.

Many plant species have adaptations to drought, like reduced leaf area and waxy cuticles. Prolonged drought can cause migrations and humanitarian crises.

Droughts have often been viewed as disasters because they impact food availability and the rest of society. 

Types of Drought

Drought can be measured in four ways: meteorological, hydrological, agricultural, and socioeconomic. Drought can be measured on the basis of a physical phenomenon, supply and demand, and the effects of water shortage.

Facts for Kids
Facts for Kids

Meteorological drought

Meteorological drought is defined by the amount of precipitation and the duration of the dry period. Hydrological drought is defined by the amount of precipitation and the duration of the dry period.

Hydrological drought

Hydrological drought is defined by periods of precipitation (including snowfall) shortfalls on surface or subsurface water supply. The frequency and severity of hydrological drought are often defined on a watershed or river basin scale.

Agricultural droughts

Agricultural droughts impacts crops based on the prevailing weather conditions, the biological characteristics of the plant, the growth stage of the plant, and the soil’s physical and biological properties.

Socioeconomic definitions of drought

The socioeconomic definition of drought is a weather-related shortfall of the supply of water, which can occur in response to the demand for a good.

Lack of Rain

Droughts will occur when the normal levels of rainfall are already low and where it rains a little less than normal. If there’s no rain at all, then we have an extreme drought.

In some places, droughts are becoming more frequent due to climate change. Scientists expect that global climate change will trigger droughts and that space sunshades may increase this possibility.

What are the Impacts of Drought?

Water levels drop, and the flow of water is reduced, causing more pollution, wetlands to dry out, and wind erosion and disease. People’s health and social activities can be affected, and in less developed countries, war can break out.

Drought affects society in various ways, such as causing anxiety and depression due to lost income from crops, leading to conflict between countries for scarce resources like water, reducing recreation opportunities, increasing rates of heat stroke and even death, and affecting people’s ability to live normally because they don’t have access to clean drinking water.

Severe drought can also lead to migration, especially if there is not enough fresh water available. This can result in the mass displacement of people who have nowhere else to go.

How do We Measure Drought?

The United States Department of Agriculture defines drought as “a condition of abnormally dry or below normal precipitation for at least one month.” This means that there has been less than 1 inch of rain per month for at least one month.

What are the Effects of Drought

Drought affects our communities and environment in many different ways because water is an important part of our lives. When we don’t have enough water for these activities, many people and many different things are affected in many different ways. 

Drought has many impacts, including economic, environmental, and social impacts.

Droughts in the United States

Drought in the United States is similar to that of other portions of the globe due to the above-average persistence of high pressure over the affected area. It is caused by changes in the track of extratropical cyclones.

The country’s contiguous western region has been suffering from drought since about the year 2000. This led to the establishment of relief agencies and changes in farming practices.

A drought can be more damaging than tornadoes, tropical cyclones, winter storms, and flooding combined. In dry areas, removing grass cover and going with more natural vegetation can reduce the impact of drought.