Exploring What a Drought Is
Drought is a long period of dry weather when there is no rainfall at
all for weeks, months or even years. Rivers and streams stop
flowing. Water in pools, ponds, or reservoirs dries out. Plants
die. Drought becomes a natural disaster. Some droughts occur for a
very long period of time, and cause great hardship to people, plants
and animals. Every year, droughts take place in many parts of the
world, mostly in deserts. People plan for drought be storing water in
wells, water tanks, etc. and by growing crops that can stay alive in
hot and dry weather.
How does drought effect the people?
When drought occurs, lakes, rivers, and wells dry up. In the hot and
dry surrounding plants die, and some may even catch fire. Animals
have to wander around to find food to eat and water to drink, and they
eventually die if drought lasts for a long period. The strong wind
blows the topsoil that is very fertile away and this makes it harder
to grow crops in the future. With no crops for food, people have to
go get food from somewhere else, otherwise they would starve and die.
Moreover, in poorer countries like Africa, drought brings disease,
famine, and deaths. Famine often comes about when there is a long
period of drought. It happens when a large number of people do not
have enough to eat, since the hot sun kills the crops and dries up the
water supplies. Animals that are kept for meat and milk die from
starvation. The little amount of water that is available is usually
very full of germs, and dirty. Moreover, when people are poor, they
fight each other or attack the government. This often results in
political instability or even war.
Types of drought
There are many types of drought.
§ Permanent drought occurs in dry desert regions. There is hardly any
rainfall, therefore deserts have drought all the time. However,
desert people are good are surviving in these areas because they are
used to the dry conditions and harsh environment.
§ Seasonal drought is a feature of places which are very dry for most
of the year, with a short rainy season. Droughts here are
predictable. For example, the countries around the Mediterranean Sea
have rains in winter and drought in summer.
§ Contingent drought occurs when the rainy season is very short.
There is little rain, and sometimes it does not rain at all.
§ Unpredictable drought is found in areas where sudden rainfalls or
rainbursts can be quite heavy but can’t be predicted.
§ Invisible drought is the effect of scanty rainfall which harms crops
and wildlife but does not completely destroy them.
Causes and Physical processes of drought
No one really knows why droughts happen. They could be affected by
the shape of the land, by ocean currents, or by how moist the soil