Drought disaster challenges and mitigation in India: strategic appraisal
Drought is the most widespread hydro-meteorological syndrome of ‘prolonged period of water scarcity affecting natural resources, environment and, thereby, the people’. Environmental changes, viz. climate change, land-use changes and natural resource degradation have aggravated drought occurrences and vulnerability, thus disrupting the normal socio-economic settings. All the regions of India suffer with drought incidences of varying periodicity, with 13 states repeatedly declared as drought-prone. Complexities of drought symptoms and impacts have sought for an understanding of an ecosystem approach for drought management, rather than as a hardcore meteorological discipline. Regions of Rajasthan, Bundelkhand, Karnataka and Orissa are typical examples of drought-related deprivation and resultant conflicts, whereas drought in states like Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Haryana, etc. are the result of improper agriculture practices and poor water management. In this article, the strategies of drought monitoring, data management, impacts and mitigation approach are critically assessed in the Indian perspective. Integration of drought management with the framework on natural resources and climate-change adaptation at different levels have also been discussed.
Source : ASDMA