Drought is a condition when there are no rains for a long period of time. The occurrence of drought is a common sight in many parts of the country. The consequences of this condition are drastic and many times irreversible. Drought is the condition when certain parts of the world are deprived of rain for months or at times the entire season. There are several reasons that cause drought-like situations in different parts and prove to be fatal. One of the most common climatic conditions leading to drought is the scarcity of rain over a particular area.
Long and Short Essay on Drought
Essay – 1 (250 words)
Drought, which results in the shortage of water, is mainly caused due to lack of rainfall. The situation is problematic and can prove to be fatal for those living in the drought-affected areas. It is particularly a curse for the farmers as it destroys their crops. The continuous drought-like situation also leads to the soil becoming less fertile.
Causes of Drought
There are various factors that lead to drought. Here is a look at these causes in detail:
Deforestation is said to be one of the main causes of the shortage of rainfall that leads to drought. An adequate amount of trees and vegetation is required on land to limit evaporation of water, store enough water on land and attract rainfall. Deforestation and the construction of concrete buildings in their place have caused a major misbalance in the environment. It lowers the capacity of the soil to hold water and increases evaporation. Both these are a cause of low rainfall.
- Low Surface Water Flow
Rivers and lakes are the main sources of surface water in various regions around the world. In extreme summers or because of usage of surface water for various human activities, the water in these sources dries down leading to drought.
- Global Warming
The negative impact of global warming on the environment is known to all. Among other issues, the emission of greenhouse gases that results in the rise in the earth’s temperature has resulted in the rise in evaporation. High temperature is also a cause of wildfires that worsens the drought-condition.
Apart from these, excessive irrigation is also one of the causes of drought as it drains the surface water.
Though the causes of drought are largely known and are mostly the result of misuse of water resources and other non-environmental friendly human activities, nothing much is being done to curb this problem. It is time the governments of various countries should join hands to overcome this global issue.
Essay – 2 (400 words)
Drought occurs when a region receives no or less than the average amount of rainfall leading to water shortage, failure of crops and disruption of normal activities. Various factors such as global warming, deforestation, and construction of buildings have given rise to drought.
Types of Droughts
While some areas are marked as the complete absence of rain for a long period of time, others receive less than the average amount of precipitation, yet others might face drought for some part of the year – So the severity and type of drought varies from place to place and from time to time. Here is a look at the different types of droughts:
- Meteorological Drought
When there is a reduction in rainfall in a region for a particular period – it can be for a few days, months, seasons or year – it is said to be hit by meteorological drought. In India, an area is said to be hit by meteorological drought when the annual rainfall is 75% less than the average rainfall.
- Hydrological Drought
This is basically associated with the reduction in water. Hydrological droughts are often a result of two successive meteorological droughts. These are divided into two categories:
- Surface Water Drought
- Ground Water Drought
- Soil Moisture Drought
As the name suggests, this situation involves inadequate soil moisture that hinders crop growth. This is an outcome of meteorological drought as it leads to a lower water supply to soil and greater water loss due to evaporation.
- Agricultural Drought
When the meteorological or hydrological droughts lead to negative impacts on the crop yield in a region, it is said to be hit by agricultural drought.
This is said to be the most severe drought situation. People in such regions do not get any access to food and there are mass starvation and devastation. The government needs to intervene in such a situation and food is supplied to these places from other places.
- Socio-Economic Drought
This situation occurs when there is a decrease in the availability of food and loss of income due to the failure of crops and the social security and access to food for the people in such areas is at risk.
Drought is a difficult situation to deal with especially if the severity is high. Several people are affected due to drought each year. While the occurrence of drought is a natural phenomenon, we can certainly reduce the human activities that lead to such a situation. The government must also come up with effective measures to deal with its after-effects.
Essay – 3 (500 words)
Drought, a condition that occurs due to no or very low rainfall, has been classified into different categories including meteorological drought, famine, socio-economic drought, hydrological drought, and agricultural drought. Whatever be the type of drought, it disturbs the normal functioning of the regions affected.
Impacts of Drought
The regions hit by drought take a good amount of time to recover from the disaster caused, particularly if the severity of the drought is high. Drought disrupts the day-to-day lives of the people and has a widespread impact on various sectors. Here is how this natural disaster impacts the lives of the people living in the affected region:
- Agricultural Loss
A major impact occurs on the agriculture and other related sectors as these are directly dependent on the ground and surface water. Loss of crop yields, low rate of livestock production, rise in plant disease and wind erosion are some of the major impacts of drought.
- Financial Loss for Farmers
Farmers are worst affected by drought. The crops in the drought-hit areas do not yield and the farmers whose sole income is generated through farming are worst affected by this situation. In an attempt to make ends meet, many farmers end up in debt. The cases of farmer suicides due to such a situation are also common.
- Wildlife at Risk
The cases of forest fires increase during droughts and this puts the wildlife population at high risk. Forests get burnt down and many wild animals end up losing life while others lose their shelter.
- Price Rise
The prices of various cereals, fruits, vegetables rise because of low supply and high demand. The prices of food items such as jams, sauces, and drinks that are produced from those particular fruits and vegetables also increase. In certain cases, goods are imported from other places to meet the demands of the people and hence the prices levied on the same are high. The retailers who offer goods and services to the farmers also face financial loss due to reduced business.
- Degradation of Soil
The soil loses moisture due to continuous drought and its quality degrades. It takes a lot of time for some areas to regain the ability to yield crops.
- Overall Impact on Environment
Damage is caused to various species of plants and animals, there is the degradation of landscape quality and biodiversity is impacted. The quality of air and water is also affected due to drought. While some of these conditions are temporary others may last long and might even turn permanent.
- Public Safety at Stake
Lack of food and increased prices of different commodities may give rise to crimes such as theft and this can put public safety at stake. Conflict may also occur between water users thereby causing tension among the general public.
Drought Prone Countries
Some of the countries that are more prone to drought include Albania, Afghanistan, Armenia, Bahrain, Northeast parts of Brazil, Burma, Cuba, Morocco, Iran, China, Bangladesh, Botswana, Sudan, Uganda, Somalia, Eritrea, and Ethiopia.
Drought is one of the most disastrous natural calamities. Famine, that is the most severe forms of drought, ends in a major socio-economic and environmental loss for the regions affected.
Essay – 4 (600 words)
Drought, a condition when certain regions are faced with a scarcity of water due to low or no rainfall, has been the cause of several problems in India. There are many areas in the country that are hit by drought each year while others are faced with this condition occasionally. Drought is caused due to various factors such as deforestation, global warming, and inadequate surface water and has a severe impact on the lives of the people living in the affected areas as well as the general health of the environment.
Drought Prone Areas in India
Many regions in the country are hit by drought each year. Statistics reveal that approximately one-sixth of the total geographical area of the country that inhabits around 12% of the population is drought-prone.
One of the most drought-prone states in the country is Rajasthan. As many as eleven districts in this state are hit by drought. These regions receive scanty or no rainfall and have a low level of groundwater. Drought is also a common phenomenon in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Almost every district here is hit by drought each year.
Here is a look at some of the other regions in the country that face frequent drought:
- Saurashtra and Kutch, Gujarat
- Coimbatore in Kerala
- Mirzapur Plateau and Palamu, Uttar Pradesh
- Kalahandi, Orissa
- Purulia, West Bengal
- Tirunelveli District, South of Vaigai River, Tamil Nadu
Possible Solutions for Drought
- Rain Water Harvesting
This is the technique of collecting and storing rainwater in tanks and natural reservoirs to use it later. Rainwater harvesting must be made mandatory for all. The idea behind this is to put the available water to use.
- Sea Water Desalination
Seawater desalination must be done so that the vast amount of water stored in the sea can be used for the purpose of irrigation and other agricultural activities. The government must make major investments in this direction.
- Recycle Water
Wastewater must be purified and recycled for reuse. This can be done in many ways. Small steps such as installing a rain barrel, collecting the wastewater from RO systems, usage of shower buckets, saving water from washing veggies and creating rain gardens can help in this direction. The water collected by these means can be used to water the plants.
- Cloud Seeding
Cloud seeding is done to modify weather. It is a way to increase the amount of precipitation. Potassium iodide, silver iodide, and dry ice are some of the chemicals used for the purpose of cloud seeding. The government should invest in cloud seeding to avoid drought in the areas prone to this condition.
- Plant More Trees
Deforestation and the building of concrete structures is one of the causes of scanty rainfall. Efforts must be made to plant more trees. This simple step can change the climatic conditions and also bring about other positive changes in the environment.
- Water Usage
Each one should take it as a responsibility to stop the wastage of water so that there is the availability of enough water even when during times of low rainfall. The government must take steps to keep a check on the usage of water.
- Campaigns must be Run
The government must run campaigns stating the benefits of rainwater harvesting, planting more trees and other measures that the general public can take to fight drought. This is a good way to spread awareness and control the problem.
Though the government has put certain drought relief plans in place however these are not enough to overcome the drastic problem of drought. It is important to take strong steps to avoid this problem. Everyone should contribute their bit to control this problem.