Author : S.Sangita Mishra 1
Date of Publication :24th January 2018
Abstract: Drought is a weather-related natural disaster affecting vast regions and causing significant structural and non-structural damages. Marathwada Region of Maharashtra, which is mainly located in the main drainage of Godavari River is facing severe drought every year. This region is characterized as a ‘frequently drought-prone area’, where drought can be expected every 6 to 10 years. Jalna District in Marathwada has a semi-arid climate with an average annual rainfall of 729.7 mm, and an average monsoon from June to September with rainfall of 606.4 mm. During the years 1875–2004, it has experienced drought 18 times, including the two years of successive drought in 1984 and 1985. Rainfall data for Jalna shows great year-to-year variability culminating in the extreme drought of 2012. In most cases, the drivers of droughts are context-specific, often inter-linked and act over different time scales. Therefore, the occurrence of drought must be understood and appropriate drought indices should be investigated for different goals such as agriculture practices, engineering practices and watershed management. This study aimed to identify the type of drought events, determination of drought severity, duration and spatiotemporal extension of drought for the planning of mitigation measures for farmers. Using the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) as an indicator of drought severity for the period from 1901 to 2002, the characteristics of droughts were examined. The multiple-time scaled SPI values were evaluated for June –October months in order to obtain severity of drought events over the years. The overall outcome of this study demonstrates that severe and extreme droughts were experienced from time to time across the study area leading to unfavourable results on agricultural practices and water resources in the area.
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