What is drought and what causes it

What is drought and what causes it?

In this article we will understand the meaning of drought and the reasons what causes the drought along with solution for drought.

What is drought?

Drought is a condition when there is no prolonged rainfall. The occurrence of drought is a common phenomenon in many parts of many countries.

What is drought and what causes it
The consequences of this situation are harsh and at times irreversible. Drought occurs when parts of the world are deprived of rain for months or even for the whole year.

There are many reasons that cause drought-like conditions in different parts of the world and make the condition serious.

Causes of drought

There are several factors that form the basis of drought. See these reasons are;

  • Deforestation
Deforestation is said to be one of the main causes of rainfall deficiency leading to drought conditions. There is a need for water evaporation, the need for adequate water on the land and a sufficient amount of trees and vegetation on the land to attract rain.

What is drought and what causes it
Deforestation and the construction of concrete buildings in their place have caused a major imbalance in the environment. This reduces the soil's water-holding capacity and increases evaporation.

  • Global warming
Everyone is aware of the negative impact of global warming on the environment. Other issues are the emission of greenhouse gases in which the increase in the Earth's temperature results in increased evaporation. High temperatures are also the cause of forest fires that promote drought conditions.

  • Low surface water flow
Rivers and lakes are the main sources of surface water in various regions around the world. Due to excessive summers or the use of surface water for various human activities, water in these sources dries up causing a drought.

  • Excessive irrigation for farming
Excessive irrigation is the reason for drought because it dissipates surface water.

Type of drought

Let’s look at the different types of droughts;

  • Meteorological drought
When there is a decrease in rainfall for a particular period in an area - it can be for a few days, months, weather or year - it is affected by meteorological drought.

An area in the country like India is considered to be affected by meteorological drought when the annual rainfall is 75% less than the average rainfall. Other countries have their own consideration for drought.

  • Hydro-logical drought
It is basically associated with water reduction. Hydro-logical drought is often the result of two successive meteorological droughts. They are divided into three categories;

Surface water dry
Ground water drought
Soil moisture dry

  • Agricultural drought
When meteorological or hydro-logical drought has a negative effect on crop yield in an area, it is considered to be affected by agricultural drought.

  • Deficiency
This is the most severe drought situation. In such areas people do not have access to food and there is widespread starvation and devastation. The government needs to intervene in such a situation and food is supplied to these places from other places.

  • Effects of drought
Drought-hit areas take a long time to recover from disaster, especially if the severity of the drought is high. Drought worsens the daily lives of people and has a wide impact on various sectors.

What is drought and what causes it
Less water available in drought
  • Loss of agriculture and farms
Drought has a major impact on agriculture and other related areas as they are directly dependent on land and surface water. Reduced crop yields, low rates of livestock production and plant disease are some of the major effects of drought.

  • Financial loss for farmers
Farmers are most affected by the drought. Crops are not produced in drought-affected areas and the sole income of farmers is generated through farming. The farmer is most affected by this situation.

  • Risk to wildlife and jungles
The drought has led to an increase in cases of fire in the forests and it affects high-risk wildlife populations. Many wild animals lose their lives due to burning of forests, while many others lose their shelter.

  • Erosion of soil
The soil moisture decreases due to frequent droughts and loss of its quality. Some areas take a lot of time to gain the ability to obtain crops.

  • Rise of price
The prices of various cereals, fruits, vegetables are increasing due to low supply and high demand. In some cases goods are imported from other places to meet the demands of the people. Retailers that offer goods and services to farmers face financial losses due to reduced trade.

  • Impact on our environment
Damage to the environment is caused by various species of plants and animals. There is a breakdown of landscape quality and biodiversity. The quality of air and water is also affected due to drought.

Solutions for drought

  • Harvesting of Rainwater
It is a technique for collecting and storing rainwater in tanks and natural reservoirs so that it can be used later.

  • Recycle water
Waste water must be refined and recycled . This can be done in several ways; Installing rain barrels, collecting waste water from water purifiers, and creating rain gardens can help for recycling of water.

  • Desalination of Ocean water
Sea water desalination should be done so that vast amounts of water stored in the ocean can be used for the purpose of irrigation and other agricultural activities.

  • We have to plant more trees
Deforestation and construction of concrete structures are one of the causes of rare rainfall. Efforts should be made to plant more trees. This simple step can change the climate situation and also bring other positive changes in the environment.

  • Seeding of clouds
Seeding of the clouds is done to modify the weather. This is one way to increase the amount of rainfall. Potassium iodide, silver iodide and dry ice are some of the chemicals used for the purpose of cloud seeding.

  • Proper use of water
Everyone should take the responsibility of preventing this water waste so that sufficient water is available even during low rainfall.

  • Should run a campaign
Everyone should campaign about the benefits of saving rain water, plant more trees and take other measures so that we public can fight the drought. This is a good way to spread awareness and control the problem.


However, the cause of drought is known to a large extent to all of us and is mostly the result of misuse of water resources and non-environment friendly human activities. Not much is being done to prevent this problem. It is time that governments of various countries should join hands to overcome this global issue.

Picture Sources - free images from Pixabay and Pexels.

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