Drought -- National Drought Mitigation Center


Date of this Version



Published in Agricultural Drought Indices: Proceedings of an Expert Meeting, June 2-4, 2010, Murcia, Spain, pp. 13-21, edited by M. V. K. Sivakumar, R. P. Motha, D. A. Wilhite, and D. A. Wood (Geneva: World Meteorological Organization, 2011).


Copyright 2011 University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


The goal of the WMO Expert Meeting on Agricultural Drought Indices was to move forward in the selection of a single drought index that would be used worldwide in the assessment of agricultural drought and its severity. This chapter discusses the challenges in identifying a single index to accomplish this task. Given the complexities of drought and its diverse sectoral impacts, this is a formidable task. However, highlighting the key issues and challenges and recognizing a process or methodology to move the science community forward to achieve aspects of this goal would be a critical step forward. As the next step, identifying a series of alternative approaches to characterize agricultural drought in various settings depending on available data and local capabilities would be an important achievement. Ultimately, all countries should continue to work toward implementing a composite approach in which multiple indices and indicators are used to characterize agricultural drought, its severity, and impacts.