Drought is still largely unpredictable and varies with regard to the time of occurrence, duration, intensity, and extent of the area affected from year to year. It is a temporary condition caused by significantly less rainfall for an extended period of time, usually during a season when substantial rainfall is normally expected over the area. The deficiency in the rainfall is measured relative to the long-period average of rainfall over the area. The severity of the drought can also be aggravated by other climatic factors such as high temperature, high wind and low humidity. With this background, Drought is broadly perceived in different ways.The guidelines for declaration of drought were revised in 2016.
- Meteorological drought: When actual rainfall over an area is significantly less than the climatological mean.
- Hydrological drought: When there is marked depletion of surface water causing very low stream flow and drying of lakes, reservoirs and rivers.
- Agricultural drought: When inadequate soil moisture produces acute crop stress and affects productivity.
- Soil Moisture drought: Inadequate soil moisture particularly in rain fed areas which may not support crop growth.
Pre-Disaster and During Disaster:
- A Block-wise Drought Management plan will need to be prepared by the Agriculture department.
- Agriculture department will need to provide seeds for drought resistant crops and any other assistance. Soft loans, subsidies and micro credit may need to be arranged.
- Weekly monitoring of the season and crop condition
- Drinking Water may need to be provided to the affected areas through lorries.
- Desilting of existing water sources such as ponds and small tanks
- The thrust will also have to be on employment generation schemes
- Strengthening of storage levels of dams, reservoirs and canals for surface irrigation and percolation ponds and check dams will help to mitigate this disaster.
- Agriculture department will need to play a major role in choice of drought resistant crops, improved.
- Popularizing rain-water harvesting techniques will need to be a priority.
- Advanced technologies of irrigation will need to be promoted such as drip and sprinkler irrigation and water harvesting for agricultural requirements. This will bear benefits in the long-term.
- In residential areas, water recycling for gardening purposes will ensure more economical use of water and promote water conservation.
- In the long-term, a culture of respecting the water bodies that the state has and preservation and maintenance.