What is drought and what effects does it produce?

Extreme drought

We have heard a lot about the drought, a term that, as the planet warms, we use more often in places where rainfall is becoming scarce. But what does it really mean that a certain region is suffering the effects of drought? What effects are these and what consequences can they have?

Let's delve into this issue that can affect us all so much.

What is drought?

It is a transitory climatological anomaly in which the water is not sufficient to supply the needs of plants and animals, including human beings, who live in this particular place. It is a phenomenon caused mainly by the lack of rain, which can lead to a hydrological drought.

What types are there?

There are three types, which are:

  • Meteorological drought: occurs when it does not rain -or it rains very little- for a certain time.
  • Agricultural drought: affects the production of crops in the area. It is usually caused by a lack of rain, but it can also be caused by poorly planned agricultural activity.
  • Hydrological drought: it occurs when the available water reserves are below the average. Normally, it is caused by a lack of rainfall, but humans are also usually responsible, as happened with the Aral Sea.

What consequences does it have?

Water is the essential element for life. If you don't have it, if the drought is too intense or long-lasting, the consequences can be fatal. The most common are:

  • Malnutrition and dehydration.
  • Mass migration.
  • Damage to the habitat, which irreparably affects the animals.
  • Dust storms, when it occurs in an area that suffers from desertification and erosion.
  • War conflicts over natural resources.

Where do the most droughts occur?

The affected areas are basically those of the Horn of Africa, but droughts are also suffered in the Mediterranean region, riding a California, Peru, And in Queensland (Australia), among others.


Drought is, therefore, one of the most worrying phenomena that occur on the planet. Only by managing water well can we avoid suffering its consequences.

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