As climate change progresses and water sources diminish across the world, it is important to be aware of drought conditions and to gain better understanding of being prepared for these extreme environments.
The US Drought Monitor is a critical tool in relaying up-to-date information to the public regarding drought conditions across the United States and Puerto Rico. The monitor is hosted by a Nebraska based organization called the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) that is strictly focused educating community and policy makers about the reality of drought.
A brief explanation of defining “drought” coming from the center’s official website:
“Drought is an insidious hazard of nature. It is often referred to as a “creeping phenomenon” and its impacts vary from region to region. Drought can therefore be difficult for people to understand. It is equally difficult to define, because what may be considered a drought in, say, Bali (six days without rain) would certainly not be considered a drought in Libya (annual rainfall less than 180 mm). In the most general sense, drought originates from a deficiency of precipitation over an extended period of time–usually a season or more–resulting in a water shortage for some activity, group, or environmental sector. Its impacts result from the interplay between the natural event (less precipitation than expected) and the demand people place on water supply, and human activities can exacerbate the impacts of drought. Because drought cannot be viewed solely as a physical phenomenon, it is usually defined both conceptually and operationally.”
US Drought Monitor | Enlighten Together