Drought and Water Crises: Science, Technology, and Management Issues

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Donald A. Wilhite
CRC Press, Mar 22, 2005 - Technology & Engineering - 432 pages
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Today the world is facing a greater water crisis than ever. Droughts of lesser magnitude are resulting in greater impact. Even in years with normal precipitation, water shortages have become widespread in both developing and developed nations, in humid as well as arid climates. When faced with severe drought, governments become eager to act. Unfortunately, this eagerness usually wanes when precipitation returns to normal.

Drought and Water Crises: Science, Technology, and Management Issues explains the complexities of drought and the role of science, technology, and management in resolving many of the issues associated with the world's expanding water crises.

Contributors discuss a broad range of topics in attempting to answer these most pressing questions:

How can we can improve planning tools and make mitigation tools more readily available and adaptable?

How can we promote widespread adoption of new water-conserving technologies and encourage their use during non-drought periods?

How can seasonal forecasts and early warning systems be made more reliable and expressed in ways to better meet the needs of end users?

How can the drought-related policy experiences of some countries be systematically utilized to benefit others?

Drought and Water Crises collates considerable information from diverse disciplines with the goal of reducing societal vulnerability to drought. Featuring case studies and stressing new technologies, the book seeks to encourage nations to adopt a more risk-based, proactive policy for water and drought management.

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Page 11 - Droughts usually require a minimum of 2-3 months to become established, but then can continue for months or years. The magnitude of drought impacts is closely related to the timing of the onset of the precipitation shortage, its intensity, and the duration of the event.
Page 6 - Third, drought impacts are nonstructural and spread over a larger geographical area than are damages that result from other natural hazards.
Page xvi - Tchobanoglous is a professor emeritus of environmental engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California at Davis.
Page 12 - Like other natural hazards, drought has both a natural and social component. The risk associated with drought for any region is a product of both the region's exposure to the event (ie probability of occurrence at various severity levels) and the vulnerability of society to the event. The natural event (ie meteorological drought) is a result of the occurrence of persistent large-scale disruptions in the global circulation pattern of the atmosphere. Exposure to drought varies spatially and there is...
Page 5 - The first rainless day in a spell of fine weather contributes as much to the drought as the last, but no one knows precisely how serious it will be until the last dry day is gone and the rains have come again...
Page 11 - DROUGHT CHARACTERISTICS AND SEVERITY Droughts differ from one another in three essential characteristics — intensity, duration, and spatial coverage. Intensity refers to the degree of the precipitation shortfall and/or the severity of impacts associated with the shortfall. It is generally measured by the departure of some climatic index from normal and is closely linked to duration in the determination of impact. The simplest index in widespread use is the percent of normal precipitation. With...

About the author (2005)

(a) Dr Linda Botterill is a Post Doctoral Fellow in the National Europe Centre at the Australian National University where she is undertaking research on agricultural policy in Australia and Europe. She also lectures in political science in the School of Social Sciences. Dr Botterill has extensive experience in public policy having worked in the Australian Government Department of Primary Industries and Energy, as an adviser to two Cabinet Ministers and as a policy officer in two industry associations before undertaking her doctorate in political science at the ANU.

(b) Dr. Donald A. Wilhite is the founder and director of the National Drought Mitigation Center and Professor, School of Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He has extensive experience in drought planning and policy, drought mitigation, and drought monitoring. Dr. Wilhite has worked with many federal agencies and state governments in the United States and with many foreign governments and international organizations on a broad range of drought management issues.

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