Define drought? What are its types? Examine which regions of India are drought prone and why.
The term ̳drought‘ is applied to an extended period when there is a shortage of water availability due to inadequate precipitation, excessive rate of evaporation and over- utilization of water from the reservoirs and other storage , including the ground water. A drought can last for months or years, or may be declared after as few as 15 days.
TYPES OF DROUGHT:
1. Meteorological Drought: It is a situation when there is a prolonged period of inadequate rainfall marked with mal-distribution of the same over time and space.
2. Agricultural Drought: It is also known as soil moisture drought, characterized by low soil moisture that is necessary to support the crops, thereby resulting in crop failures.
3. Hydrological Drought: It results when the availability of water in different storages and reservoirs like aquifers, lakes, reservoirs, etc. falls below what the precipitation can replenish.
4. Ecological Drought: When the productivity of a natural ecosystem fails due to shortage of water and as a consequence of ecological distress, damages are induced in the ecosystem.
The most drought prone areas of India are Northwest region of India and some parts of West Central India and Peninsular region. The reasons are unique to each area, like Northwestern area receives the residual rain from the monsoon as monsoon time over the region is nearly 2 months. Peninsular is leeward side of western ghat so very little rain cloud move over the area adding to it the area lacks irrigation and local specific irrigation like tank irrigation have been neglected. Adding to the deficit rainfall the crops which are chosen on commercial basis are not suitable for that agro region like cotton and sugarcane in marathwada which demand very high water.
Other naturally drought prone areas are the Kutch and the thar desert region which cannot be fully rectified, what can be done is to reduce the impact like using irrigation methods and crops suitable for the region like guar gum and gram under drip irrigation.