Water Grand Challenges: Physical Effects of Drought




Warren, Emily

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Persistent periods of abnormally low levels of precipitation result in instances of prolonged drought in Texas that can cause a plethora of physical changes to a landscape. In 2011, unusually warm and dry weather resulting from the weather phenomenon known as La Niña resulted in the driest year for Texas yet. Prolonged drought events such as this can physically effect the environment, resulting in wildfires, subsidence, parched farmlands, and damaged wetlands. Climatologists recognize four different types of drought: 1) meteorological drought, 2) hydrological drought, 3) agricultural drought, and 4) socioeconomic drought. 2 Meteorological drought occurs due to shifts in dominant weather patterns. Hydrological drought becomes apparent with low ground and surface water levels, which is usually a result of repeated months of meteorological drought. Agricultural drought occurs when low water levels affect crops and agricultural production. The last form, socioeconomic drought, is a prolonged instance of drought, which adversely affects various commodities and industry.



water quality, drought, agriculture, precipitation, water resources


Warren, E. (2013). Water grand challenges: Physical effects of drought (Report No. 2013-30). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.


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