Drought -- National Drought Mitigation Center


Date of this Version



Published in Water Resources Bulletin 27:1 (February 1991), pp. 29–38.


Copyright © 1991 American Water Resources Association. Used by permission.


Drought has been a prevalent feature of the American landscape during the latter part of the 1980s, producing serious socioeconomic and environmental consequences. These recent experiences with drought have renewed concern about the inadequacy of federal and state contingency planning efforts and the lack of coordination for assessment and response efforts between these levels of government. This paper presents the results of research aimed at facilitating the preparation of drought contingency plans by state government in conjunction with a state’s overall water management planning activity. The ten-step drought plan development process reported is intended to improve mitigation efforts through more timely, effective, and efficient assessment and response activities. Officials in appropriate state agencies should examine the proposed framework and alter it to best address drought-related concerns, adding or deleting elements as necessary.