Drought Risk Management
By C. Prakash Khedun, Postdoctoral Research Associate; Vijay P. Singh, Distinguished Professor; Caroline and William N. Lehrer Distinguished Chair in Water Engineering, Texas A&M University
FARMD (February 2014) | This note presents some of the current research pertaining to drought conducted at Texas A&M University (www.tamu.edu). Most of the research discussed uses data from the state of Texas, United States. The techniques developed, however, are universal and can be easily applied to any part of the world. The works presented are mostly experimental tools; practitioners are encouraged to use these tools in their everyday planning and management of water resources and any feedback will help scientists improve and create better tools in the future. >> Read the Article
The Horn of Africa region has been facing increased climate variability and growing frequency and intensity of drought events. Dryland inhabitants have historically undertaken autonomous transformation processes to respond to extreme weather shocks and growing stress of land degradation. Nevertheless, the recent succession of devastating droughts has severely undermined the indigenous coping mechanisms of affected communities in the region, often putting them under chronic food insecurity.
In this article, the authors discuss a project focused on conservation agriculture in the six semi-arid cattle corridor districts of Uganda . The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), together with the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, with the financial support from the Royal Norwegian Government, has been supporting to mainstream/integrate Sustainable Land Management (SLM) into District Development Plans, and working to implement priority SLM community initiatives. Vulnerability of these drylands communities remains high due to the fluctuations in seasonal rainfall. Application of innovative and cost-efficient land and water resource management measures in these areas are therefore an urgent requirement to improve agro-pastoral productivity while reversing the loss of soil, forest, watershed functions and biodiversity. >>Read more about this project in their article
Highlighted Drought Risk Management Options
There are several options that can be implemented to help farmers deal with drought risks. Investments can be simple and low-cost, such as adopting certain practices like changing planting dates, or might involve more expensive investments when it is technical and economically feasible, for example irrigation. The following links to share some of the risk management strategies available for drought:
- Adopting resistant/tolerant varieties
- Implementing water harvesting, storage and supplemental irrigation.
- Implementing Soil and Water conservation practices
- Establishing information systems (Early Warning and Planning Systems)
- Scaling-up of insurance schemes (e.g. Index-based insurance)
- Drought Coping Strategies
International Union for Conservation of Nature (January 2013) | The video showcases the IUCN 'Drought Risk Reduction' project, which focuses on increasing communities resilience to drought through water management. Implementing the ecosystem approach, the IUCN Uganda office conducts studies and research to ensure nature-based solutions are applied in order to reduce the risk of recurrent drought in the Northeast region of the country. For more information, please visit iucn.org/water
IWMI (February 2012) | This presentation by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) shares general information on droughts and other natural disasters, as well as IWMI activities and its relation to drought mitigation: general research on drought, the IWMI Drought Center Initiative. This presentation also shares specific examples of IWMI's project management work in Central Asia.
The Africa–Asia Drought Risk Management Peer Assistance Project seeks to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and technical cooperation among drought-prone countries in Africa and Asia and thus to promote best practices in drought risk management (DRM) for development in the two regions. In order to establish a baseline to guide this activity, the United Nations Development Programme Drylands Development Centre (UNDP DDC) undertook a stocktaking exercise between March and June 2011 on drought impacts, causes, trends and solutions in Africa and Asia.
This report, based upon the findings of the stocktaking exercise, goes beyond presenting a sense of the similarities and differences among drought experiences in Africa and Asia, by painting a more detailed picture. >>Learn More and Download the Document
Online Training Resources
- Virtual Academy for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) on Drought | This Course is meant for farmers, students and those interested in agriculture to acquaint with drought and coping with this natural hazard