Photo credit: Hossam el Hamalaway on Flickr
In a recent study of mortality due to extreme weather events, droughts were found to be responsible for more deaths than any other single entity (58%). Droughts have also been blamed for increasing global rates of soil degradation, deforestation and human migration.
Sophisticated surveillance and monitoring tools now enable scientists to predict drought-related food insecurity with increasing accuracy. Policy response, however, all too often lags behind, leading to disastrous famines.
From a water management perspective, many simple solutions are available to help build community resilience to drought. Improved water storage, enhanced water productivity, and recycling and reuse of wastewater can all play a role.