Committee Guide

Topic A
Drought: An eye into the future. Water shortage resulting in conflicts

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Drought 3. Causes and stages of drought 4. Impact of Droughts 5. Drought Mitigation and Monitoring 6. Water Scarcity 7. Conclusion 8. Questions to be thought about 9. Maps 10. Bibliography 11. Further Reading

1. Introduction During the last decades the world has faced many challenges in all everyday life aspects. Apart from dealing with wars, economic crisis and political and social problems it has also affronted the severe consequences of climate change and environmental issues. The causes and the effects of environmental problems are various and numerous and countries in different regions all over the world, non-governmental organisations and international organisations have been searching for a solution to these issues. One of the most significant issues caused by climate change, human actions and natural causes is water shortage. Recognising that access and use of water is a fundamental Human Right and that its lack can provoke severe problems on health and safety of people United Nations have been trying to find a solution to this issue and has achieved a lot. However, a great number of people, rising up to almost a billion, along the world still have no access to it and much discussion has to be made so that provision of water is guaranteed. Two of the most basic and crucial causes of drought are climate change and global warming. Climate change is when the climate is altered over time for a long time as a result of human or natural influences while global warming is the increase of the Earth’s surface median temperature over time. Indications show that drought will become a more commonly faced issue while the duration of these droughts is also going to be increased. This issue of water shortage is further worsened by the pollution of the existing drinkable and usable water.

2. Drought
Definition: “Drought is a sustained and regionally extensive occurrence of below average natural water availability. Drought can be characterized as a deviation from normal conditions in the physical system (climate and hydrology), which is reflected in variables such as precipitation, soil water, groundwater and stream flow. ” 1According to the European Drought Centre drought should not be mixed with water scarcity or aridity as the first “implies a long -term imbalance of available water resources and demands” and the second “ is a permanent feature of a dry climate”. Although it may be considered that areas with extremely high temperatures are affected by drought it should be underlined that areas with extreme low temperatures can also suffer from long periods of drought. 2 Therefore it can be assumed that drought is a worldwide phenomenon which can occur in areas with different characteristics and it also varies itself from one region to another. “Drought has wide ranging social, environmental and economic impact. The most severe social consequences of drought are, however, found in arid or semi-arid regions where the availability of water is already low under normal conditions.” 3 Drought can be divided in two categories; climatic drought, meteorological and hydrological, and agricultural drought. While referring to the first one it is essential for the government to know which areas are classified as arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, as these areas are considered more subjected to desertification. The maps of these areas can be easily created using the EWBMS (Energy and Water Balance Monitoring System) system whose data products are related to the United Nations Convention to combat desertification (UNCCD). On the other hand “agricultural drought is often expressed in terms of soil moisture, e.g. “Plant Available Water”... Here satellite data can be of use. Relative evapotranspiration is closely related to soil moisture.”4

1

University of Oslo: Department of Geosciences; Droughts and Climate Change; http://www.geo.uio.no/edc/downloads/droughts_and_climate_change_2007.pdf 2” It is mainly caused by low precipitation and high evaporation rates, but in regions with a cold climate, temperatures below zero can also give rise to a winter drought.” University of Oslo: Department of Geosciences; Droughts and Climate Change; http://www.geo.uio.no/edc/downloads/droughts_and_climate_change_2007.pdf 3 European Drought Centre, What is drought?; http://www.geo.uio.no/edc/ 4 EARS: Drought Monitoring; http://www.ears.nl/co2_emissions.php

More specifically, “a drought in terms of meteorology takes into account deficiencies in measured precipitation. Each year's measurements are then compared to what is determined as a "normal" amount of precipitation and drought is determined from there. For hydrologists, droughts are monitored by checking stream flow and lake, reservoir, and aquifer water levels. Precipitation is also considered here as it contributes to the water levels.”5. Furthermore, “agricultural droughts that can impact crop production and cause changes to the natural distribution of various species. The farms themselves can also cause droughts to happen as soil is depleted and therefore cannot absorb as much water, but they can be impacted by natural droughts as well.”6 Some of the most affected areas worldwide are Horn of Africa, Sudan and Chad, India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar. Moreover, in Northern America areas which are affected and could be in the future are Rocky Mountains and Sierra Nevada. Some of the worst droughts of the past century have also been experienced in the Amazon Basin and in Australia. Last but not least the worst droughts in decades have been monitored in Western Africa the last years. All these areas have faced or are going to face droughts which result in lack of food and conflicts. More than 2,5 billion people are affected everyday and World Food Program has acknowledged that food was needed in most cases. Some of the consequences of drought in these areas were: grave ecological catastrophes and food shortages in the Horn of Africa, the Darfur Conflict, because of drought combined with desertification and overpopulation, lack of drinking water and problems with agricultural irrigation in India, possible destruction of the Amazon Rainforest and destruction of forests in Australia.

3. Causes and stages of Drought
It is generally acknowledged that drought is lack of rainfall, which is related to the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere. Furthermore, drought occurs when the upward forcing of the air mass containing water vapour reduces, because if this air does not rise the rain will not be formed. There are various factors that could cause drought and most of them easily understood but hard to prevent. A main cause of drought is the relation between high and low pressure systems7.Both systems are experienced at all areas of the world and it is regular for high-pressure systems to be replaced by low-pressure ones as they pass through these areas. On the other hand, when a high-pressure system is installed over an area then sunny and dry weather which insists for a long period of time can lead to drought. These low and high pressure systems can be stalled by jet streams and by the cold and warm water current in the oceans. Well known are the effects of the warm water current in the Pacific Ocean, also known as El Niño, which brings low pressure systems and provoke hurricanes and storms to North America. Moreover, the cold water current, La Niña, is a major cause of drought. The opposite occurs in Asia, where El Niño brings drought and La Niña storms. As far as water vapour is concerned; drought is the result of the incapacity of air currents to bring the water vapour to the right areas at the appropriate and needed times. Winds transfer the water that evaporates from the oceans to other regions and when the winds are not strong enough and this does not happen huge issues and complications rise. “In the eastern United States, moisture is carried up from the Gulf of Mexico by northward blowing winds. This moisture is then pushed by other winds until it reaches the Midwest. This water then falls to the ground, supporting the farms in that region. However, if the winds don’t blow at the right time, in the right direction, or with enough force, the moisture falls in other areas and that Midwest region suffers from drought. A similar phenomenon occurs in Southeast Asia. Usually, summer winds known as monsoons carry water vapour north from the Indian Ocean inland, providing desperately needed rain. Sometimes, however, instead of blowing from north to south, they blow east to west. When that happens, the
5&6 7

About.com: Geography: Drought, Its Causes, Stages and Problems;http://geography.about.com/od/globalproblemsandissues/a/drought.htm

“When there is high air pressure, air falls instead of rising. With the air pressing down in a high pressure zone, no currents of water vapour are carried upward. As a result, no condensation occurs, and little rain falls to earth. In addition, high-pressure areas push clouds and air currents downward and away, resulting in sunny, cloudless weather. Low-pressure systems see cloudier, stormy weather.” Forces of Nature: Droughts;http://library.thinkquest.org/C003603/english/droughts/causesofdroughts.shtml

vapour doesn’t leave the Indian Ocean and many people suffer from the resulting droughts.” 8 Another known phenomenon is the rain shadow effect. Often wind is blocked by mountains and moisture cannot be passed to needed regions something which forces the air to rise and pass over the peaks. When the air rises “ it becomes colder and the vapour condenses into rain or snow. The rain then falls on that side of the mountain, known as the windward side (the side that is turned toward the wind). When the air mass finally makes it over the mountain, it has lost much of its vapour. This is another reason why many deserts are found on the side of a mountain facing away from the ocean.”9 Other crucial factors affecting droughts are deforestation for agricultural and construction of buildings reasons “combined with the resultant erosion can also cause drought to begin because as soil is moved away from an area it is less able to absorb moisture when it falls” 10. Human activities have deteriorated this situation as although soil erosion occurs naturally it is a slow process. With the intervention of humans the rate of natural erosion has been increased by at least 2.5 times and more than 2,000 million hectares have been destroyed. An interesting historical fact is that there is evidence that reason, among others, of the collapse of Ancient Civilizations in the Mediterranean and Central America was the soil erosion which was a consequence of damaging practices such as cutting of trees. Further research shows that soil erosion appears because of the exposure of land to wind and rain as each drop hits unprotected areas, for example those which are harvested, like a bullet. Therefore soil particles are loosened and washed down, most of them resulting in valleys or out to the sea by streams and rivers. Another form of erosion is water erosion which is excessively hazardous and damaging to all developing countries. Water erosion occurs in areas where heavy rains, steep lands imprudently used, farmed and harvested and gently sloping lands exposed to the effects are encountered. To sum up, the causes of drought are various and they can be related both to natural factors and human activities. According to the UNECA annual report of 2008 on drought the “underlying cause of most droughts can be related to changing weather patterns manifested through the excessive build up of heat on the earth’s surface, meteorological changes which result in a reduction of rainfall, and reduced cloud cover, all of which results in greater evaporation rates”. These effects are deteriorated by “human activities such as deforestation, overgrazing and poor cropping methods which reduce water retention of the soil, and improper soil conservation techniques, which lead to soil degradation”. There are heterogeneous, direct and indirect, elements that can lead to the genesis of desertification, which can be detected in dry-land ecosystems as they are sensitive to over-exploitation and inappropriate use, with severe consequences such as under-development and poverty. According to the same annual report on drought, drought is “ in fact a result of much deeper underlying forces of socio-economic nature, such as poverty and total dependency on natural resources”. It can therefore be estimated that major factors of drought and desertification are “climatic factors (Yang and Prince 2000; Hulme and Kelly 1993) that lead to reduced rainfall (Rowell et al. 1992)” and human activities such as land distribution and redistribution, adoption of water pumps, boreholes and dams, poverty in the region, population pressures and land use practices, expansions of croplands, continuous cultivation without adding any supplements, overgrazing, poor natural resources tenure and access regimes, conflicts, lack of soil and water conservation structures, deforestation because of energy needs11 and other technological and economic factors.
8&9 10

Forces of Nature: Droughts; http://library.thinkquest.org/C003603/english/droughts/causesofdroughts.shtml About.com: Geography: Drought, Its Causes, Stages and Problems; http://geography.about.com/od/globalproblemsandissues/a/drought.htm 11 “ Deforestation, especially to meet energy needs and expand agricultural land is another serious, direct cause of desertification in the region. Globally, there is evidence demonstrating a heavy negative impact of the energy sector on forest and other vegetation cover and land productivity. More than 15 million hectares of tropical forests are depleted or burnt every year in order to provide for small-scale agriculture or cattle ranching, or for use as fuel wood for heating and cooking”, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa: Overview of drought and desertification situation in Africa; http://www.uneca.org/eca_resources/publications/books/drought/chap2.pdf

Stages of drought are various and they can be defined differently according to the area they are developed at, although similar. The first stage, least severe of the stages, is commonly declared when a drought can be approaching and is known as drought warning or watch. Next steps are drought emergency and disaster or critical drought. Critical drought stage is declared when a “drought has occurred for a long period and water sources begin to be depleted. During this stage, public water use is limited and oftentimes drought disaster plans are put into place.”12 For example, in Australia “drought frequency is crucial. Research indicates that severe drought affects some part of Australia about once every 18 years. This does not indicate that severe drought regularly and predictably recurs every 18 years; intervals between severe droughts have varied from four to 38 years. We have long historical rainfall records to give a clearer picture of what is 'normal' for an area, and how much variation might be expected. There is little chance that all Australia could be in drought at the same time. Some droughts are longlived; some are short and intense, causing significant damage. Some can be localised while other parts of the country enjoy bountiful rain. Some regional droughts are not related to El Niño events, and are therefore harder to forecast. Examples of each of these types of drought are shown in the picture.”13
The spectre of drought, Source: Australian Government: Bureau of Meteorology: Living with drought; http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/drought/livedrought.shtml

4. Impact of Droughts The lives of the people living in the areas which are influenced by droughts, agriculture, the economic and social development and the environment of these areas are widely affected by droughts. Some of the effects of drought can be halted cropping programs, decreased breeding stock, vegetation loss and soil erosion while it could also threaten the permanent erosion of the capital and resources of farms. Moreover, water quality could also be affected and it toxic algae outbreaks could occur. Apart from people, highly affected are the animals and plants for the zones involved and bushfires and dust-storms can be observed often during dry times. “Regardless of a drought's stage, there are short and long term consequences with any drought because of nature and society's dependence on water. Problems associated with drought can have economic, environmental, and social impacts on both the areas where they occur and areas that have relations with those where the drought happens.”14
12

About.com:Geography: Drought, Its Causes, Stages and Problems;http://geography.about.com/od/globalproblemsandissues/a/drought.htm 13 Australian Government: Bureau of Meteorology: Living with drought; http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/drought/livedrought.shtml 14 Geography about .com: Consequences and Mitigation of Drought; http://geography.about.com/od/globalproblemsandissues/a/drought_2.htm

Two of the most significant consequences of drought are human migration and environmental refuges. Land degradation and desertification combined with drought can lead to conflicts and migration as people move to areas or try to take under their control in order to use dwindling natural resources. This then depletes the natural resources of the new area and takes workers away from the original area. Furthermore, food insecurity and starvation, especially in Africa, demolition of habitats and loss of biological diversity are major issues that drought causes. These problems are further worsened by the social and economic instability which is caused by drought, leading to increased poverty and therefore social unrest is likely to develop. The above mentioned including climatic variability, provoked by reduced carbon sequestration, are considered extremely costly events in Africa. Countries that base their development, economic growth and entire economies , such as those of Africa, on rain-fed agriculture, infrastructure and exploitation of natural resources , which depend on climate factors, are extremely exposed to drought, desertification and their effects. Therefore, the populations of these areas are also keen to raise conflicts with other populations while they are also sensitive to heavy diseases. According to the UNECA 2008 “Overview of drought and desertification situation in Africa”, “ the consequences are mostly borne by the poorest people and the Small Island Developing States (SIDS). In the region, women and children in particular, bear the greatest burden when land resources are degraded and when drought sets in. As result of the frequent droughts and desertification, Africa has continued to witness food insecurity including devastating famines, water scarcity, poor health, economic hardship and social and political unrest”. An interesting example15 of economic impact of drought given in the same report is that of Sub-Saharan Africa. According to the Overview approximately two thirds of fertile and cultivable land are expected to be lost by 2025. This “land degradation currently leads to the loss of an average of more than 3 percent annually of agriculture GDP in the Sub-Saharan Africa region”. Moreover, “in Ethiopia, GDP loss from reduced agricultural productivity is estimated at $130 million per year ” and in Uganda “degradation in the dry lands threatens to wreck havoc on the country’s economy and escalate poverty ” as “these dry lands constitute the Uganda cattle corridor, which accounts for over 90 percent of the national cattle herd and livestock production contributes 7.5 percent to the GDP and 17 percent to the agricultural GDP ”, whilst “drought and floods account for 80 percent of loss of life and 70 percent of economic losses linked to natural hazards in Sub-Saharan Africa”.16 It is also believed that countries where the governments are unable to raise their funds in order to invest in economic and agricultural production so that they will be able to achieve rural and urban economic development are more vulnerable to drought and desertification, which are expected to rise, putting the economic growth in risk. It should also be underlined that it is crucial for these societies to reduce “the dependence of the poor on the natural environment”.17 Another sector widely affected by drought is food security as food crops cannot be supported because of water scarcity. 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 occur18. In addition households affected by drought are capable of finding the adequate resources in order to deal with the shortages. Consequently the society is led to food insecurity and hunger rises, affecting millions. It is estimated that if land degradation pace remains the same «more than a half of cultivated agricultural area in Africa could be unusable by the year 2050 and the region may be able to feed just 25 percent of its population by 2025” which would be calamitous since Africa depends
15

“Lack of water means less irrigation for the crops, less drinking water, less water for hygiene, and less hydro-electricity. In developing countries droughts cause bad disease, famine, and death. Most people think of droughts happening in the deserts of Africa and Asia. But droughts occur in Europe as well. In fact, Spain is among the countries suffering from the worst drought since 1990. Other countries in Europe facing water shortages include Scotland, western Russia, Denmark, Norway and Germany.», Damp Water: The Effect of Droughts and Where they Occur; http://dampwater.tripod.com/id2.html 16,17” The drought of 1990/1991 in Zimbabwe resulted in a 45 percent drop in agricultural production but also a 62 percent decline in the value of the stock market, a 9 percent drop in manufacturing output and a GDP drop of 11 percent. Similarly, in Kenya, the drought of 1999-2001 cost the economy some 2.5 billion dollars. As a proportion of the national economy this is a very significant loss and can best be thought of as 2.5 billion dollars of foregone development, for example, hospitals and schools not built.”, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa: Overview of drought and desertification situation in Africa; http://www.uneca.org/eca_resources/publications/books/drought/chap2.pdf 18” Food aid to the subcontinent accounts for approximately 50 percent of the yearly budget of the World Food Aid Programme”, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa: Overview of drought and desertification situation in Africa; http://www.uneca.org/eca_resources/publications/books/drought/chap2.pdf

on agriculture. 19 Drought also influences water availability causing harm not only to the environment but also thirst to both humans and animals of the regions affected. While humans could live for weeks without food consumption they cannot survive more than a few days without water. Moreover this lack of water withholds future economic growth. According to UNECA’s Overview on Drought in Africa it is foreseen that annual average rainfall will be reduced, deteriorating Souther n Africa’s desertification driving it to absolute water scarcity along with North Africa. These regions will be able to sustain their needs only if water is transferred out of agriculture into other sectors thus making them increasingly dependent on imported food.20These issues could also provoke conflicts between population while it worsens the situation of women and children who might be forced to work longer as they are responsible for fetching water for the households in Africa. Another dimension of the impacts of drought is that of its consequences on biodiversity. Biodiversity in lands and especially dry lands is crucial to the peoples of world as it is a major factor of development, being the origin of cereals and legumes such as barley, wheat, faba beans and lentils. Drought and desertification combined with climate changes of the present and the future can drive to escalation of biodiversity’s degradation. Habitat and species degradation and loss could provoke loss of economic and biological productivity. Such loss could be provoked from overgrazing which causes soil erosion, reduces the overall protective soil cover and it alters the composition of the vegetation. “ Plant biodiversity will change over time, unpalatable species will dominate, and total biomass production will be reduced”.21 Furthermore, drought could have as results insect infestations and plant diseases, decrease in air quality and increased risk of fires. Drought can also have impacts on energy as it directly affects hydropower and it changes the growth rates of trees and electricity generation loss. For instance a decrease at the level of the water at a dam could drive to huge electricity loss. A great example of this loss is the case of Ghana where the level at Akosmombo dam fell below 240 feet, during first half of 2007, thus causing a reduction in hydro-electricity generations which shedding of electricity. Moreover, changes in growth rates of trees affect the lives of people as the scarcity of other resources makes them depend on wood.
“Most of the economic impacts of drought are associated with agriculture and the income generated from

crops. In times of drought, the lack of water can often cause a decline in crop yields, and thus a reduction in income for farmers and an increase in the market price of products since there is less to go around. In a prolonged drought, unemployment of farmers and even retailers can occur, having a significant impact on the economy of the area and those with economic ties to it”.22 To conclude there are three possible ways that droughts can impact the world: economic, social and environmental. The first category includes losses of croplands, fertile lands, timber, agriculture and fisheries. The second category includes conflicts which could be developed between population of areas affected by drought, related to the areas affected by drought or dependent on them as a result of the need of people to find water resources and to control and use fertile land and other commodities. Moreover, abandonment of cultural traditions, loss of homelands, changes in lifestyle, and increased chance of health risks due to poverty and hygiene issues are also possible social results of drought. Last but not least, environmental effects include migration, reduced air quality, soil erosion and changes in biodiversity.

19

United Nations Economic Commission for Africa: Overview of drought and desertification situation in Africa; http://www.uneca.org/eca_resources/publications/books/drought/chap2.pdf 20&21 It is estimated that nearly 230 million Africans will be facing water scarcity, and 460 million will live in water-stressed countries, by 2025 thus increasing the number of countries subjected to water stress or water scarcity from 14 to 25. United Nations Economic Commission for Africa: Overview of drought and desertification situation in Africa; http://www.uneca.org/eca_resources/publications/books/drought/chap2.pdf 22 About.com: Geography: Consequences and Mitigation of Drought ; http://geography.about.com/od/globalproblemsandissues/a/drought_2.htm

5. Drought Monitoring and Mitigation As shown in the previous paragraph drought is a serious phenomenon which affects billion lives around the globe and has severe impacts, economic, social and environmental. It is for all these reasons that the development of an effective drought monitoring, early warning and delivery system is required. The development of such a system has been a huge challenge for scientists and politicians who have tried to solve these problems as a result of drought’s nature and characteristics. However steps have been made during the last years is this direction and more emphasis is now being placed on the development of drought preparedness plans that are proactive. Moreover, emphasis is placed on risk-management measures and early warning. Improved drought monitoring is a key component of a drought preparedness plan and a national drought policy. Early warning systems can provide decision makers with timely and reliable access to information on which mitigation measures can be based. There are many challenges to improving these systems, but a comprehensive, integrated approach to climate and water supply monitoring is proving to be successful in many countries.

Global Drought Monitor, November 2011, 24 months assessment Source: UCL Global Drought Monitor; http://drought.mssl.ucl.ac.uk/drought.html?map=%2Fwww%2Fdrought%2Fweb_pages%2Fdrought.map&program=%2Fcgibin%2Fmapserv&root=%2Fwww%2Fdrought2%2F&map_web_imagepath=%2Ftmp%2F&map_web_imageurl=%2Ftmp%2F&map_ web_template=%2Fdrought.html

Global Drought Monitor, 1 Month Assessment Source: UCL Global Drought Monitor:
http://drought.mssl.ucl.ac.uk/drought.html?map=%2Fwww%2Fdrought%2Fweb_pages%2Fdrought.map&program=%2Fcgibin%2Fmapserv&root=%2Fwww%2Fdrought2%2F&map_web_imagepath=%2Ftmp%2F&map_web_imageurl=%2Ftmp%2F&map_web_tem plate=%2Fdrought.html

The most important mitigation measures are soil and water conservation. This way soil can absorb precipitation and it also allows farmers to use less water since it is absorbed and not washed or run off. Another positive effect is that it creates less water pollution by the pesticides and fertilizers. Water conservation is most commonly achieved through regulated public use of water such as watering of yards, swimming pools, car washing.23 “Finally, desalination of seawater, water recycling, and rainwater harvesting are all things that are currently under development to build on existing water supplies and further reduce the impacts of drought in dry climates. Whatever method is used however, extensive monitoring of precipitation and water usage are the best way to prepare for a drought, inform the public on the problem, and implement conservation strategies”.24 6. Water Scarcity Definition: According to Food and Agriculture Organisation “ imbalances between availability and demand, the degradation of groundwater and surface water quality, intersectoral competition, interregional and international conflicts, all contributes to water scarcity ”. According to FAO water scarcity is often the result of water shortage and it is observed in arid and semi-arid zones which suffer from droughts and climate variability that is combines with overpopulation, population growth and economic development. FAO also states that water use has been increasing rapidly and in the last century it has grown more than twice as much as the population while it is estimated that by 2025 approximately 2 million people will be living in areas where water scarcity is monitored. It is also underlined that two-thirds of the total world population will live under stress conditions with “rapidly growing urban areas placing heavy pressure on neighbouring water resources”. Measures that government could take in order to address the issues require local, national and international cooperation and collaboration. It is essential the nation which share management of same water resources such as lakes, rivers and aquifers cooperate in order to face these problems. Furthermore, integration that considers development, supply, use and demand is needed with an emphasis on people, their livelihood and the ecosystems that sustain them. Ecosystems, like rivers and forests, should also be protected and restored as they filter, store, capture and release water. 7. Conclusion Drought and water scarcity are issues that still affect billion people around the world although access to safe water and sanitation have been recognized as priority targets in the Millennium Developments Goals and Johannesburg plan of action of the World Summit on Sustainable Development. One way or another people depend on water and it is crucial for them and their activities whether they are farmers, fishers or entrepreneurs. It is therefore essential that governments take the measured needed to secure their citizens from water scarcity and drought which have severe consequences, ecological, environmental, social and economic. Some of these possible issues that could rise are underdevelopment, famine, disease, decreases water and soil quality, conflicts between population of areas affected and environmental damages. Clear policies, monitoring systems, emergency contingency plans and education of people are only some of the measures that could be taken in order to face the results of drought. Taking all these into account leaders of the world should cooperate and collaborate in both bilateral and international level while keeping their people’s need a top priority of their agendas. Right to water is essential for the conservation of life and lack of it can and will lead to fatal aftermaths and chain reactions.
23&24

About.com: Geography: Consequences and http://geography.about.com/od/globalproblemsandissues/a/drought_2.htm

Mitigation

of

Drought

;

8. Questions to be thought about Drought is a phenomenon observed in various areas around the world that can impact people, animals, plants and social and economic systems. While many measures have been taken these years it is essential that United Nations do not pause or terminate their efforts in order to decrease drought’s impacts on peoples’ lives and assist countries which suffer or can possibly suffer from it and water shortage. Taking into consideration these, the fact that right to water is a fundamental human right and the possible future consequences of drought the United Nation Environmental Program should ponder the following questions: How could the connection between drought and food-crisis be reduced? Which are the most suffering countries and how could they be assisted? Could we prevent droughts? How could the monitoring systems be enhanced? Have the measures taken in the countries that suffer from drought been powerful enough? Did they manage to achieve the goals that were put? How could they be reinforced? How can new technologies help to these effects of droughts and lack of water? Could drought lead to immigration and conflicts? How could this be prevented? Which are the appropriate measures that should be taken in areas where water shortage has already leaded to conflict between populations?

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Moreover, although they are not completely related to the area, delegates could also deliberate on deforestation, climate change mitigation and carbon policies as they are all related to the causes which provoke drought. Last but not least a question that is essential is what does the future bring? What is the part of United Nations and United Nations Environmental Program in this future?

9. MAPS

Drylands , UNCCD Source : http://www.unccd.int/publicinfo/june17/2011/menu.php

Drought in the Future, from 2000-2099 Source: University Corporation for Atmospheric Research; http://www2.ucar.edu/news/2904/climate-change-drought-may-threaten-much-globe-within-decades

10. Bibliography
1. About.com: Geography: Drought, Its Causes, Stages and Problems; http://geography.about.com/od/globalproblemsandissues/a/drought.htm 2. About.com: Geography: What causes droughts?; http://weather.about.com/od/drought/f/droughts.htm 3. Australian Government: Bureau of Meteorology: Living with drought; http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/drought/livedrought.shtml 4. BBC: Water Shortage a “Global” Problem : http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4796909.stm 5. European council: Water Scarcity and Droughts, In depth Assessment; http://ec.europa.eu/environment/water/quantity/pdf/comm_droughts/2nd_int_report.pdf 6. European Drought Centre: What is drought?; http://www.geo.uio.no/edc/ 7. Find Articles in the CBS: Business Library: Erosion, drought and deserts; when man is careless, water can be a destroyer; http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1310/is_1985_Jan/ai_3581832/ 8. Forces of Nature: Droughts; http://library.thinkquest.org/C003603/english/droughts/causesofdroughts.shtml 9. Global Water System Project: http://www.gwsp.org/home.html; http://www.water-energyfood.org/en/home.html 10. Global Water: http://www.globalwater.org/ 11. Sara Pantuliano, Sara Pavanello;Taking drought into account. Addressing chronic vulnerability among pastoralists in the Horn Africa (2009); http://www.odi.org.uk/resources/download/3591.pdf 12. The NY Times: Lush Land Dries Up, Withering Kenya’s Hopes; http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/08/world/africa/08kenya.html 13. United Nations Economic Commission for Africa: Overview of drought and desertification situation in Africa; http://www.uneca.org/eca_resources/publications/books/drought/chap2.pdf 14. United Nations report: Desertification, Drought and Climate Change; http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/publications/trends_africa2008/desertification.pdf 15. United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa; http://www.unccd.int/convention/text/convention.php?annexNo=0 16. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; http://unfccc.int/essential_background/convention/background/items/1349.php 17. UNISDR: China and Africa Step Up Cooperation on Drought Risk Reduction;
http://www.unisdr.org/archive/22316

18. UNISDR: Drought: Living with Risk: An Integrated approach to reducing societal vulnerability to drought;(2005) http://www.unisdr.org/2005/task-force/tf-adhoc/droughts/WGD-doc1.pdf 19. UNISDR: Mapping Drought Patterns and Impacts: A global perspective; http://www.unisdr.org/files/11475_MappingDroughtPatterns1.pdf 20. University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Climate change: Drought may threaten much of globe within decades; http://www2.ucar.edu/news/2904/climate-change-drought-may-threaten-muchglobe-within-decades 21. USA Drought Monitor; http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/ 22. World Meteorological Organization: Drought Monitoring and Early Warning: concept, progress and future challenges (2006); http://www.unisdr.org/files/1856_VL102123.pdf 23. World Meteorological Organization: Drought Management; http://www.wmo.int/pages/mediacentre/press_releases/pr_930_en.html 24. World Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN: http://www.fao.org/emergencies/home0/hazard_and_emergency_types/drought/en/

25. WG-Crop: DROUGHT PREPAREDNESS AND DROUGHT MANAGEMENT; http://www.wgcrop.icidonline.org/2doc.pdf 26. FAO of UN: Inference of a Drought Mitigation Action Plan; http://www.fao.org/emergencies/home0/hazard_and_emergency_types/drought/en/ 27. FAO :Inferences of a Drought Mitigation Action Plan; ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/010/ai149e/ai149e.pdf

11. Further reading
1. Agriculture.com: Various Stages of Drought; http://www.agriculture.com/news/crops/various-stagesof-drought_2-ar20414 2. Almanac of Policy Issues: Global Warming; http://www.policyalmanac.org/environment/global_warming.shtml 3. City of Southlake Texas, Stages of drought contingency; http://www.ci.southlake.tx.us/waterconservation/stages_of_drought_contingency.htm 4. NASA Earth Observatory. Drought: The creeping disaster; http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Library/DroughtFacts/printall.php 5. Lester R. Brown, 2006: The earth is shrinking: Advancing deserts and rising seas squeezing civilization. Earth Policy Institute ; http://www.earth-policy.org/Updates/2006/Update61.htm 6. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: http://www.ppi.noaa.gov/ 7. Robert H. Webb/ Michael Collier; Floods, Droughts, and Climate Change 8. The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification Particularly in Africa (UNCCD); http://www.unccd.int/convention/text/convention.php?annexNo=0 9. Windows to the Universe: Effects of Climate Change Today;http://www.windows2universe.org/earth/climate/cli_effects.html, 10. UNCCD: The Convention; http://www.unccd.int/convention/menu.php 11. UNECA : Assessing Progress in Africa Towards the Millennium Development Goals, MDG Report 2011 : http://www.uneca.org/mdgs2011/ 12. UNESCO: International Hydrological Program; http://www.unesco.org/new/en/naturalsciences/environment/water/ihp/ 13. United Nations: Index to Programs: http://esa.un.org/subindex/pgViewTerms.asp?alphaCode=W 14. Water Net: http://www.waternetonline.ihe.nl/ 15. Water and Sanitation Program: http://www.wsp.org/wsp/ 16. Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council: http://www.wsscc.org/ 17. Water Watch: Drought: http://waterwatch.usgs.gov/new/index.php?id=ww_drought 18. Water Watch: Water and Sanitation Organizations: http://www.wsp.org/wsp/about/Water-andSanitation-Organizations 19. World Water Council : http://www.worldwatercouncil.org/

All sites were last visited 11/2011

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