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Drought – Causes, Impacts, Effects and Types

Grade 7
Jun 3, 2023


If there is a scarcity of water, there rises a condition called drought.


It is the period of lack of water, and essential precipitation, either in the form of rain or snow.

The soil loses moisture as a result of drought. Additionally, this moisture loss results in decreased groundwater, decreased streamflow, crop damage, and overall water scarcity.


Causes of Drought:

There are numerous reasons why there are droughts.

It may be brought on by prolonged dryness or a lack of snow or rain.


In our studies of the water cycle and weather, we discovered that shifts in the wind patterns that move clouds and moisture through the sky might, over time, prevent a location from receiving its typical quantity of rain or snow.

Drought is an issue that frequently involves people.

If we utilize too much water when there is normal rainfall, we will not have enough water if a drought occurs.

Minimize Usage of Water
Minimize Usage of Water


It is important to note that this calamity has a wide range of impacts on humans.

People lack access to clean drinking water, which is necessary for survival. During a drought, other water sources also become less available.


People are seen traveling great distances to gather water from other locations in this situation. Crop growth is also hindered by drought conditions.

Drought Impact on Human
Drought Impact on Human

Impacts of Drought on Plants:

Through a variety of survival mechanisms, trees and other plants have evolved to endure the effects of drought.

To save water, some plants (like grass) will restrict their growth or turn brown. To stop water from evaporating through the leaf surface, trees might shed their leaves early in the season.

However, a lot of vegetation will perish if the drought continues.

Some plants have acquired adaptations that allow them to endure prolonged dry situations.

For instance, yuccas have deep root systems that are incredibly effective in finding water.

Cacti feature spikes, leaves, or spiky, hairy spines that reduce the amount of water they lose to evaporation.

Mosses are able to survive total dehydration by directing water selectively toward the branches that are necessary for survival, and juniper trees can self-prune (the shedding of branches that are shaded or diseased).

Only other plants that can support their growth are able to do so. Their seeds can last years in the soil during dry spells before suitable conditions return.

Impacts of Drought on plants:
Impacts of Drought on plants:
Impacts of Drought on plants
Impacts of Drought on Plants

Damage to habitats, biodiversity loss, soil erosion, and a higher danger of wildfires are examples of negative effects.

Additionally, drought can lead to serious economic and societal issues.

Lack of rain can lead to productivity declines, agricultural losses, a drop in land values, and increased unemployment.

Economic Effects:

If a drought causes farmers’ crops to fail, they could lose money.

A farmer may need to spend more money on irrigation or drill new wells if his or her water supply is too low.

Ranchers might have to pay more money for livestock feed and water.

When a drought affects crops or cattle, businesses that depend on agriculture, such as those that produce tractors and food, may experience a decline in sales, etc.

Irrigation Process
Irrigation Process

Several Effects on the Environment Are:

Habitat losses or devastation for wildlife and fish.

Wildlife migration: Increased stress on threatened species, perhaps leading to extinction.

Reduced water levels in ponds, lakes, and reservoirs, wetlands being lost, added wildfires, and erosion by water and wind of soils.

Reduced Water Levels in Ponds
Reduced Water Levels in Ponds

Social Effects Examples Include:

Worrying or despair at the financial losses brought on by the drought, low water flows, and poor water quality might cause health issues.

Health issues caused by dust, human casualties, and a threat to public safety posed by a rise in forest and range fires.

Reduced revenues forced emigration from farms to cities or inside cities, and a decline in recreational activities.

Range Fires
Range Fires

According to the scientific community, there are three different types of droughts:

Meteorological Drought:

A prolonged period of below-average precipitation is known as a meteorological drought.

High levels of reflected sunshine and an above-average frequency of high-pressure systems—winds that carry continental rather than oceanic air masses—can cause these types of droughts.

Meteorological Drought
Meteorological Drought

Agricultural Drought:

Droughts in agriculture have an impact on ecology or crop productivity.

The lack of water available to the crops due to either excessive irrigation or soil conditions and erosion brought on by poorly planned agricultural activities can also occur independently of any change in precipitation levels.

Agricultural Drought
Agricultural Drought

Hydrological Drought:

When the water reserves present in sources like aquifers, lakes, and reservoirs drop below a locally significant threshold, a hydrological drought results.

Hydrological droughts are more likely to take longer to manifest since they include water that has been stored but not yet utilized. This can be brought on by factors other than merely a decrease in rainfall, similar to agricultural drought.


Drought Causes Impacts and effects


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