A drought is a period when an area experiences a deficiency in its water supply. Usually a drought is related to below average precipitation. The impact of drought on agriculture can be significant, and result in famine, migration and other humanitarian crises. Policy makers need to know where drought is occurring, and how big the impact on agricultural production will be.
WaterWatch developed an operational drought monitoring and prediction tool by integrating multi-source remote sensing data and reanalysis of climate data. This tool aims to:
- provide early information on the level and extent of drought (drought severity);
- evaluate the impact of drought on agricultural production.
Typical products will be the water deficit and biomass production. The water deficit shows the severity of drought and how much rainfall is needed to restore the water resources. Comparing actual biomass productivity with potential biomass productivity provides a good indication of the effect of drought on growth decline and the overall health of vegetation.