224 blocks in 22 Jharkhand districts declared ‘drought-hit’-
- October 30, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
224 blocks in 22 Jharkhand districts declared ‘drought-hit’-
- According to the IMD data from June 1 to August 15, 18 districts received ‘deficient’ rains.
- The Agriculture Department’s assessment said paddy was sown in 5.4 lakh hectares of land till August 15 this year compared to last season’s 16.3 lakh hectares (91% of the total area) for the same period.
- Drought is a temporary reduction in water or moisture availability below the normal or expected amount for a specific period.
- The occurrence of substantially lower than average precipitation in a season that normally has ample precipitation in a season for the support of cereal and non-cereal crops is known as Drought.
Drought: When, and how, does a state govt declare one?
- There are guidelines in place for a state government for declaring a drought in a state or area.
- A manual published by the Ministry of Agriculture in 2016 suggests a three-step approach-
- The first step is to look at two mandatory indicators — rainfall deviation and dry spell.
- Depending on the extent of the deviation, and whether or not there is a dry spell, the manual specifies various situations that may or may not be considered a drought trigger.
- The next step is to look at four impact indicators — agriculture, vegetation indices based on remote sensing, soil moisture, and hydrology.
- Each impact can be assessed on the basis of various indices.
- The States may consider any three of the four types of Impact Indicators (one from each) for assessment of drought, the intensity of the calamity and make a judgement, the manual states.
- If all three chosen indicators are in the ‘severe’ category, it amounts to severe drought; and if two of the three chosen impact indicators are in the ‘moderate’ or ‘severe’ class, it amounts to moderate drought.
- The third step comes in after both previous triggers have been set off.
- In that event, States will conduct a sample survey for ground truthing in order to make a final determination of drought.
- The finding of the field verification exercise will be the final basis for judging the intensity of drought as ‘severe’ or ‘moderate’.
Declaration of Drought-
- Once a drought is determined, the state government needs to issue a notification specifying the geographical extent.
- The notification is valid for six months unless de-notified earlier.
Types of Droughts-
- Meteorological Drought
- It is a situation where there is a reduction in rainfall for a specific period below a specific amounte., the actual rainfall in an area is significantly less than the climatologically mean of that area.
- According to Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), a drought exists when the average annual rainfall is less than 75% of the normal.
- IMD also mentioned that rather than the total amount of rainfall, its evenness matters more. We can observe that even though India gets an average annual rainfall of 110 cm, the evenness of rainfall, due to the erratic and concentrated nature of rainfall, there are frequent droughts.
- Hydrological Drought
- It is associated with the reduction of water levels. There are 2 types of Hydrological Droughts
- Surface water Drought – It is concerned with the drying up of surface water resources such as rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, tanks, reservoirs, etc.
- Groundwater Drought – It is associated with a fall in the groundwater level.
- Agricultural Drought
- It occurs when soil moisture goes below the level needed to sustain plant growth.
- It is also called Soil Moisture Drought. The erratic rainfall conditions and inadequate soil moisture result in crop failures.
- Socio-Economic Drought
- It reflects reduced availability of food and income loss due to crop failure.
- Ecological Drought
- It occurs when the productivity of the natural ecosystem fails due to a shortage of water and causes environmental damage like the deaths of cattle, wildlife, and trees in the forest.
Most Drought Prone areas in India-
- The Northwest Region being the arid and semi-arid region of India receives the residual rain from the monsoon as monsoon time over this region is nearly 2 months.
- Rajasthan and some parts of the west-central areas come in this category.
- Other naturally drought-prone areas are the kutchand the Thar desert region which cannot be fully rectified, what can be done is to reduce the impact by using irrigation methods and crops suitable for the region.
- Peninsular region- The leeward side (rainshadow region) of the western ghat receives little rainfall.
- Also, this area lacks irrigation. Adding to the deficit rainfall the crops which are chosen on a commercial basis are not suitable for that agro region like cotton and sugarcane in Marathwada which demand high water availability.
- About 30% of the country’s total area is drought-prone affecting 68% of the total sown area. Severity-wise, the years 1965, 1972, 1979, 1987, 2002, 2009, and 2012 were the most severe drought years in post-independence India.
- Drought management encompasses three-fold structures and each step needs a holistic approach to ensure effective end results.
- The 3 components are-
- Drought intensity assessment and monitoring
- Drought declaration and prioritization of affected areas for management
- Development and implementation of drought management strategies.
NDMA guidelines for Drought Management-
- NDMA guidelines include developing vulnerability profiles for regions, communities, population groups, and others to compile critical information which when integrated into the planning process can enhance the outcome of the process of identifying and prioritizing specific areas.
- Specific Drought Management cells should be created at the state level under SDMA. These DMCs will be responsible for the preparation of vulnerability maps for their respective states. Arid and semi-arid areas that are most vulnerable should be given priority where drought is a recurring feature occurring with varying magnitudes.
- Specific guidelines for use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and the role of the National Informatics Center (NIC) for online interaction and availability of real-time drought-related information that will help in the assessment and early warning.
- Assessment of damage expected will include agricultural production, depletion of water resources, livestock population, land degradation, and deforestation as well as human health.