Drought -- National Drought Mitigation Center


Date of this Version



Published in Drought: A Global Assessment, Vol. II, edited by Donald A. Wilhite, chap. 51, pp. 295–298


Copyright © 2000 Donald A. Wilhite for the selection and editorial matter; individual chapters, the contributors.


The preceding chapters have provided a comprehensive treatment of drought from many disciplinary perspectives, in the context of many economic, social, political, and geographical settings. Although it would be an insurmountable task to synthesize this information in one chapter, it is important to distill some of the more salient points from previous chapters. The intent of this chapter is to reiterate some of the principal features of drought and the challenges that lie before us in the twenty-first century if we are to make progress in reducing societal vulnerability to drought.

Drought, like many other fields of scientific inquiry, is extremely complex. A full understanding of all aspects of the issue is beyond the grasp of any one scientist. Likewise, addressing the myriad of problems associated with drought is beyond the scope of a single discipline. It requires collaboration between many physical and social scientists to advance our understanding of this phenomenon. Scientists and policy makers must also interact to build awareness and understanding of the issues associated with improved drought management.