is defined by the delicate balance between water supply and demand. Whenever human demands for water exceed the natural availability of water, the result is drought


can be caused by too little precipitation (rain and snow) over an extended period, as most people assume, but drought can also be caused by increased demand for the available supply of usable water even during periods of average or above average precipitation.


cause of droughts is easily understood, but hard to prevent. Depending on the location, crop failures, famine, high food prices, and deaths can occur. One of the scariest parts of a drought is the onset time. Unlike other forms of severe weather or natural disasters, droughts often develop slowly.


drought—This type of drought all about the weather and occurs when there is a prolonged period of below average precipitation, which creates a natural shortage of available water.


drought—This type of drought occurs when there isn’t enough moisture to support average crop production on farms or average grass production on range land. Although agricultural drought often occurs during dry, hot periods of low precipitation, it can also occur during periods of average precipitation when soil conditions or agricultural techniques require extra water.


drought—This type of drought occurs when water reserves in aquifers, lakes and reservoirs fall below an established statistical average. Again, hydrological drought can happen even during times of average or above average precipitation, if human demand for water is high and increased usage

Hunger and famine—Drought conditions often provide too little water to support food crops, through either natural precipitation or irrigation using reserve water supplies. The same problem affects grass and grain used to feed livestock and poultry. When drought undermines or destroys food sources, people go hungry. When the drought is severe and continues over a long period, famine may

Thirst—All living things must have water to survive. People can live for weeks without food, but only a few days without water.


often creates a lack of clean water for drinking, public sanitation and personal hygiene, which can lead to a wide range of life-threatening diseases.

Wildfires—The low moisture and precipitation that often characterize droughts can quickly create hazardous conditions in forests and across range lands, setting the stage for wildfires that may cause injuries or deaths as well as extensive damage to property and already shrinking food

Social conflict and war When a precious commodity like water is in short supply due to drought, and the lack of water creates a corresponding lack of food, people will compete—and eventually fight and kill—to secure enough water to survive.


or relocation—Faced with the other impacts of drought, many people will flee a droughtstricken area in search of a new home with a better supply of water, enough food, and without the disease and conflict that were present in the place they are leaving.

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