APES B3: The Impacts of Droughts
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Effects of Drought

Effects of Drought | APES B3: The Impacts of Droughts | Scoop.it

Drought can have many devastating effects on communities and the surrounding environment. The degree of devastation depends on the strength of the drought and the length of time an area is considered to be in a drought. Drought has greater impacts on poorer communities than on more prosperous communities who have better opportunities to bring in resources from other areas. However, drought can be very harsh on any type of community.

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Millions of people in drought-stricken East Africa face hunger and poverty after seasonal rains failed again, withering crops, killing livestock and drying up ponds and streams.

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Recent droughts have been worse than anything we've seen in over one hundred years.

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The Impacts of Droughts

A drought is an extended period of months or years when a region notes a deficiency in its water supply whether surface or underground water. Generally, this occurs when a region receives consistently below average precipitation. It can have a substantial impact on the ecosystem and agriculture of the affected region. Although droughts can persist for several years, even a short, intense drought can cause significant damage and harm the local economy.

 

Farmers are not the only ones who suffer from droughts. Retailers who provide goods and services to farmers must deal with reduced business. This later leads to unemployment and loss of tax revenue for the government. The tourism industry is seriously damaged because tourists do not want to travel to a country that is suffering from a severe water shortage. Shortages of certain goods results in the costly importation of necessary goods from outside the affected area.

 

Environmental losses are caused by damages to plant and animal species. Wildlife habitat, and air and water quality are usually damaged due to a lack of water and an increase in forest and range fires. Most of the effects of drought are short-term, and as the drought comes to an end many problems are solved. However, many other environmental effects effect the area for long periods after the drought is over. For example, wildlife habitat may be ruined through the loss of wetlands, lakes, and vegetation. Some species of animals may be wiped out from the area as well.

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A consequence of the lack of water is droughts, which makes the situation worse and worse because agricultural production is almost impossible.

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What are the Effects of Drought?

"Drought can have serious health, social, economic and political impacts with far-reaching consequences."

 

Drought can be caused by too little precipitation over an extended period, but drought can also be caused by increased demand for the available supply of usable water even during periods of average or above average precipitation.  When the demand for water is far greater than the supply, conditions can become dangerous.  Water is necessary to produce goods (crops specifically) and provide certain services.  Reduced crop productivity can result in reduced farmer income, increased food prices, unemployment, and migration.

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