Water has been in the news in Tamil Nadu, from devastating floods in 2015 to a severe drought because of weak northeast monsoons in 2016. In view of the severity of the event, the Tamil Nadu government has declared all of its 32 districts as drought-affected and reported increasing agrarian stress.
As the cycle of floods and droughts continues with adverse impacts on the economy of the affected region, much can be done to soften the blow if it is detected in advance. Innovative tools such as the South Asia Drought Monitoring System (SADMS), which takes advantage of recent advances in remote sensing, could help provide an early warning. Developed by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), the SADMS is a comprehensive drought monitoring system to provide information in easy-to-understand maps, which pinpoint locations under stress and provide regional to district scale information about drought’s effect on agriculture.