Drought and Water Scarcity (WMO-No. 1284)
IDMP expert panel with 14 experts from various IDMP partner organizations including UNCCD and FAO
Driven by climate change, population growth, economic development, and poor water management, the increasingly limited availability of freshwater resources is a fundamental concern for societies worldwide. Drought and water scarcity – two major phenomena that challenge water security – know no national boundaries and affect all socioeconomic sectors of society, with a greater impact on the more vulnerable, poorer or marginalized populations. Drought is a natural climatic feature of below-average precipitation, which can last for months or years, while water scarcity results from a long-term, human-induced imbalance between water demand and supply. Drought and water scarcity are often interrelated, and droughts can trigger or amplify water scarcity, while water scarcity can aggravate droughts. This publication highlights the differences between drought and water scarcity and where they become blurred due to climate change and human activities. Coping strategies to both phenomena should be part of overall integrated drought and water resource management strategies.