Drought


What is a drought?

A drought is a period of dry weather when the average rainfall for a region drops far below the normal amount for a long time, and notes a deficiency in water supply. Usually occurring when an area receives consistently below average precipitation. Drought is a normal part of climate, and can occur close to anywhere on earth. Drought's features and effects vary from place to place because of the way people use water in that area.

US Drought Monitor, April 6, 2010
US Drought Monitor, April 6, 2010

Type of Droughts


Meteorological drought is a prolonged period with less than average precipitation. Meteorological drought usually occurs before the other kinds of drought. Agricultural drought is when there is insufficient moisture for crop or range production. Physiological drought is a condition effecting plants that have been exposed to large amounts of salt, preventing them from absorbing water from the soil. Hydrological drought is when the water reserves available in sources such as lakes and reservoirs fall below the statistical average.

Where do droughts usually occur?


Droughts usually occur in hot, dry areas of land. Due to lack of rainfall the area becomes dry. If rain does fall, it will be quickly absorbed into the ground or blown away by the dry air that flows above the ground. Therefore, not many plants or animals can live there due to lack of water.

Damages


Sometimes the damage created by a drought are temporary and conditions return to normal when the drought is over, but it may also be permanent. Some of the possible destruction that a drought is capable of doing is the loss of fish and wildlife habitat. With the lack of food and water for wild animals, there is a higher risk of disease. The water level in reservoirs, lakes, and ponds is lower, along with the loss of wetlands which leads to greater risks of fires. Barges and ships may struggle to navigate streams, rivers, and canals because of low water levels. Also affecting businesses that depend on water transportation for receiving or sending goods and materials.Soil quality is reduced due to wind and water erosion of soils. Droughts can destroy crops and field, resulting in farmers losing money due to the poor quality in their crops. Famine due to lack of water for irrigation may also occur. Damages created by a drought may not always return to the previous condition.

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Drought Prevention


A drought is very difficult to prevent, mainly because it is lack of rainfall, which we cannot control. Conserve water so that a little bit goes a long way. Take shorter showers, stop watering the lawn, and cut back on unnecessary water use. There are many ways to conserve water in a community, the people living in or near the community are capable of preventing some damages created by droughts. external image moz-screenshot-4.pngexternal image moz-screenshot-5.pngexternal image moz-screenshot-6.png

Resources


http://www.armageddononline.org/extreme_drought.php
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/
http://www.drought.unl.edu/kids/impacts/affects.htm
http://www.drought.noaa.gov/