What is drought?
Droughts can be of three kinds:-
(i) Meteorological drought:
This happens when the actual rainfall in an area is significantly
less than the climatological mean of that area. The country
as a whole may have a normal monsoon, but different meteorological
districts and sub-divisions can have below normal rainfall.
The rainfall categories for smaller areas are defined by their
deviation from a meteorological area's normal rainfall -
Excess: 20 per cent or more above normal
Normal: 19 per cent above normal - 19 per cent below normal
Deficient: 20 per cent below normal - 59 per cent below normal
Scanty: 60 per cent or more below normal
(ii) Hydrological drought: A
marked depletion of surface water causing very low stream
flow and drying of lakes, rivers and reservoirs
(iii) Agricultural drought:
Inadequate soil moisture resulting in acute crop stress and
fall in agricultural productivity
Earlier years of all-India drought 1987, 1979, 1972.
|Drought and flood affected regions
This year, 19 per cent of India's land area experienced 'moderate
drought' ; 10 per cent suffered 'severe drought'
- Rainfall in July (most important for agriculture) was
49 per cent 'deficient'. The last time this figure fell
below 45 per cent was in 1911
- When there is more than 10 per cent rainfall deficiency,
and more than 20 per cent of the area of the country is
under drought, the situation is called "all-India drought"
- In 2002, rainfall deficiency was 19 per cent, and 29 per
cent of India was under drought
Source: Down to Earth, January 15, 2003
(per cent below normal)
Coastal Andhra Pradesh
North Interior Karnataka
South Interior Karnataka
During the drought of 2000-2001, a total of eight states
have fallen foul of the rain gods. These included Gujarat,
Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, Chattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh,
Maharashtra and Tehri Garhwal districts in Uttaranchal. Some
states were in their second, or third consecutive year of
figures: States hit by drought
- Chhattisgarh: 10,252 villages
in 12 of 16 districts, 9,400,000 people affected.
- Gujarat: 12,240 villages in 22
of 25 districts, 29,100,000 people, 107,00,000 cattle.
- Madhya Pradesh: 22,490 villages
in 32 of 45 districts, 12,700,000 people, 8,570,000
- Orissa: 15,000 villages in 28
of 30 districts, 11900,000 people, 39900,000 cattle.
- Rajasthan: 31,000 villages in
31 of 32 districts, 33,000,000 people, 39,900,000
- Himachal Pradesh: All 12 districts
affected, 4600,000 people, 88,000 hectare of crop
- Maharashtra: 20,000 villages
in 26 of 35 districts, 45,500,000 people, 258,000
- Uttaranchal: One district affected.
In the 70 important water reservoirs in India, the storage
position is officially described as the lowest in a decade.
Ground water levels have fallen considerably in the eight
drought hit states. In a number of districts, says the nodal
agriculture ministry, the fall in water levels is at the rate
of over 2 metres a year- this includes eight districts in
Chattisgarh, 13 in Gujarat, 30 in Madhya Pradesh, 18 in Orissa
and 15 in Rajasthan.
Source: Catchwater, a CSE newsletter, June 2001