Drought -- National Drought Mitigation Center


Date of this Version

June 1997


Published in Drought Network News Vol. 9, No. 2, Jun. 1997. Published by the International Drought Information Center and the National Drought Mitigation Center, School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska – Lincoln.


The Delhi region, the national capital region of India, is locked in by adjoining states like Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. Delhi has a characteristic continental type of climate, with extreme dryness, intensely hot summers, and dry cold winters. According to climatologists, this region is classified as semiarid tropical steppe. The monsoon rainfall is very erratic during June–September, which is the kharif crop-growing season. The monsoon breaks over the Delhi region between the first and second week of July and withdraws by the last week of September. The average annual rainfall is about 712.5 mm, of which 80% is contributed by the monsoon during kharif season.

With ever-increasing population in the Delhi region every year, there is a scarcity of drinking water, ground water levels are rapidly receding, usable land area is rapidly decreasing, and little agricultural activity is possible. Frequent droughts add to the misery. The frequency of droughts in the region is approximately 20–25%, with chronic drought experienced during 1918–19 and 1938–39.

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