Effects of Drought
Drought produces a large number of impacts that affects the social, enviornmental, and economical standard of living. Its affects spread far beyond the physical effects of drought itself. Water is integral to produce goods and provide certain services.Some direct impacts of drought are reduced crop, rangeland, and forest productivity; reduced water leves; increased fire hazard; increased livestock and wildlife death rates; and damage to wildlife and fish habitat. A reduction in crop productivity usually results in less income for farmers, increased prices for food, unemployment, and migration.
The many effects of drought can be listed as economic, environmental, or social. Please click here to see the list of its many negative effects.
However, not all impacts of drought are negative. Fortunate agricultural producers located outside the drought area benefit by selling their goods at higher prices.
Drought is also associated with increases in insect infestations, plant disease, and wind erosion. Droughts may cause problems with insects and diseases to forests. Forest fires increase dramatically during periods of droughts
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 recreational and tourism industries are 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 hinder 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.
Other drought-related impacts include social impacts. Social impacts include health, public safety, conflicts between water users, and reduced quality of life. During droughts many people migrate to areas outside the drought-affected location. When this happens, the area loses a great deal of its population, and thus the area has less financial support. Between 1950 and 1980 the drought of Brazil had a loss of 5.5 million people. This continues to be a significant problem in the economic development of Brazil.