Drought -- National Drought Mitigation Center


Date of this Version



Published in Planning for Drought: Toward a Reduction of Societal Vulnerability, edited by Donald A. Wilhite and William E. Easterling with Deborah A. Wood, pp. 11–27


Copyright Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1987.


The occurrence of widespread, severe drought in Africa, India, North America, China, the USSR, Australia, and western Europe has once again underscored the vulnerability of developed and developing societies to drought The occurrence of severe drought during 1982-83 is shown in Fig. 1. These recent droughts have emphasized the need for more research on the causes as well as the impacts of drought and the need for additional planning to help mitigate the possible worst effects of future droughts. Drought has been the subject of a great deal of systematic study, particularly reconstructions of drought history, computations of drought frequency, and, to a lesser extent, investigations of first-, second-, and even third-order impacts of drought on society.