- There are 4 types of drought.
- Meteorological: referring to a lack of precipitation.
- Agricultural: referring to a lack of moisture in the soil where crops grow.
- Hydrological: referring to low levels of water in lakes and reservoirs.
- Socioeconomic: referring to water shortages affecting people in society (drinking water, running water).
- The most common form of drought is a lack of water vapor in the atmosphere, which is responsible for precipitation. A lack of moisture in the air causes wildfires that can damage communities and food supplies, ruin forests, or harm people and animals.
- Of all the water on earth, only .003 percent is available fresh water that is not polluted, trapped in soil, or too far underground. During a drought, shared sources of water such as reservoirs, rivers and groundwater for wells are in jeopardy of running dry.
- Meteorologists predict drought based on precipitation patterns, stream flow, and moisture of soil over long periods of time.
- Droughts are a common feature of climate in California, Colorado, Georgia, and New York, as well as in Brazil, Southeast Asia, Southern Africa, and Australia.
- In the United States, droughts can have major impact on agriculture, recreation and tourism, water supply, energy production, and transportation.
- Nationwide losses from the U.S. drought of 1988 exceeded $40 billion, exceeding the losses caused by Hurricane Andrew in 1992, the Mississippi River floods of 1993, and the San Francisco earthquake in 1989.
- The effects of drought — a lack of precipitation or water reserve for irrigation — make it difficult to support food crops. A prolonged drought could lead to famine.
- In the Horn of Africa, the 1984-1985 drought led to a famine which killed 750,000 people.
- Since the 1970s, the percentage of Earth's surface affected by drought has doubled. Global warming is largely blamed.
- As the climate heats up, droughts are expected to become more frequent and severe in some locations.
Create a drought survival plan.GO
Sources: NASA, National Geographic, Disaster Survival Resources, NOAA