Home Forums DRR05 Drought Risk Reduction in IWRM DRR05 – Module 1 Forum

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This topic contains 26 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  fakunle 2 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #10738
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    Frederik Pischke
    Participant

    What makes droughts unique in comparison to other hazards?
    What makes it comparable to other hazards?
    What can drought risks tell us about the way we manage water? Can it highlight the weaknesses of a certain approach of water management? How does an integrated way of managing water help us in managing drought risks?

    Please don´t extend your comments more than 10 lines. The goal of this first forum is not to exhaust the topic, but to open a discussion. That´s why we recommend that you focus on the aspect which captures more your attention and don´t worry for answering all questions. Let´s share and build knowledge all together.

  • #10882
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    Godwin Kamtukule
    Participant

    I find that drought is the worst hazard in many ways. First, I find it is sometimes to forecast at a long term and its coming can only be predicted when its already too late. Second, it affects people and various other development sectors for a longer time-frame. Usually its hard for people to adjust the way they use water unless there are well reinforced laws to govern the same or if they directly feel the impacts. Strategically, governments would have to meet high water development costs if they are are to identify new water sources. However, without functional risk-based approaches the situation becomes desperate when encountered with drought. Another issue is the way drought is felt and handled by various class and levels of people. At community level, people tend to adapt by moving to distant water sources, but then this tendency leads to deadly conflicts by the day. At national level the issue becomes more of political as well as economical. So far governments take longer than thought to respond to drought situations let alone adequately prepare. This is why drought becomes complicated, otherwise in technical terms, water supply utilities and companies already have solutions at hand and that is to develop new water sources at scale. However, this drive is constrained by lack of investment interests by national governments!

    • #11317
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      ledoux
      Participant

      Hi Godwin, many thanks for your comment.
      Any integrated way of managing water should include local communities and it is why lack of investment by national gavernments highlight the weaknesses of a certain approach of water management.

  • #10995
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    germanogondim
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    Drought differs from other environmental disasters in many ways, first the detection, monitoring and forecasting is complex task and varies from region to region. Another aspect is that the drought’s impacts has caused more damage to society may extend far beyond the place where it was detected, increasing its potential to generate economic and social losses. The mitigation of impacts due to drought are very complex and involve conflicts of interest, as there will be a need to discuss the importance and social priorities for the use of water. This worsens especially in developing countries that often occurs negligence of governments to serve and protect the real interests of the population over those in economic power .The IWRM is solution to this problem by treating the water as an economic good, creating a open space for communication among stakeholders for water use,
    promoting the reuse of water and pollution control. These types of measures are crucial for the regions in addition to being affected by droughts periodically suffer from water availability problems.

  • #10996
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    SEVERE FOSSI TUEKAM
    Participant

    I find these information very important and I want to share them. A drought is an extended period of dry weather leading to extreme dryness. This results in a shortfall of water supply which has hydrological and agricultural impacts. Drought is different from most other hazards as it develops slowly as a creeping hazard. Aridity and desertification are associated with drought but they are not the same. Drought is characterised by moisture levels below normal for the area affected. We can define drought in four main ways: Meteorological drought which are related to rainfall amounts; Hydrological drought which are determined by water levels in reservoirs; Agricultural drought: related to the availability of water for crops and Socioeconomic drought which occurs when the production systems are deeply affected by dryness.

  • #10997
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    SEVERE FOSSI TUEKAM
    Participant

    I find these information very important and I want to share them. A drought is an extended period of dry weather leading to extreme dryness. This results in a shortfall of water supply which has hydrological and agricultural impacts. Drought is different from most other hazards as it develops slowly as a creeping hazard. Aridity and desertification are associated with drought but they are not the same. Drought is characterised by moisture levels below normal for the area affected. We can define drought in four main ways: Meteorological drought which are related to rainfall amounts; Hydrological drought which are determined by water levels in reservoirs; Agricultural drought: related to the availability of water for crops and Socioeconomic drought which occurs when the production systems are deeply affected by dryness.

  • #11015
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    Frederik Pischke
    Participant

    Thank you for sharing colleagues. Godwin, you highlight the political connotations of drought. Why do you think the response to a drought is more difficult than let’s say to a flood?
    It was also interesting to read Germano‘s thoughts around the potentially far reaching impacts of droughts and the role of water management – as I mentioned in the introductory video, drought can be seen as a stress test to the way we manage water. From your introductions I see that many participants have a background in water resources management – do you think in your work it is useful to consider drought as a water management challenge, i.e. if we would get water management right drought would not be an issue, because we can manage extremes? This is a question also to others you have examples from your work on this subject?
    Sévère, it is interesting you bring up the different types of drought that are frequently referred to – in terms of the definition of drought as a hazard, do you see differences to other hazards?

    • #11037
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      germanogondim
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      Frederik Pischke, I come from a state of Brazil that is inserted in one of the driest regions of south america and is the semi-arid region more densely inhabitable in the world. The talk of drought is always a common subject in this region , but little has been done to improve the life quality of the population. One of my motivations for joining this course is to learn more about the water resources management for drought, based on what I already read about it I think is the better way to minimize the impact that the drought generates, especially in regions where drought occur frequently as is the case in my home state. My current research is focused on the creation of a drought monitoring system and to South America, but I next year I will be starting my doctorate and I want to integrate my current research with IWRM for drought.

    • #11318
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      ledoux
      Participant

      Drought can be seen as a stress test to the way we manage water because one of the definition of drought is a shortage of water for a specified purpose. Thus, some drought impacts are associated with managed water supplies, such as the amount of water that can be delivered to a municipal customer, or unmanaged water supplies. An example of an unmanaged water supply impact might be the failure of a particular stretch of water course to meet minimum instream flow requirements, thereby impacting environmental services associated with that reach. This also an example of how difficult it can be to manage / unmanage drinking water supplies (especially in smaller water systems) to quantify drought impacts. Historically in cases like these, there has been little impetus to quantify the impact – as some people may think – they were not assumed to have a linkage to water resources management decisions.

  • #11026
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    Pheko
    Participant

    Hello all,I am Motlatsi Pheko. I am a former Msc water management-water quality management at UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education,Delft the Netherlands.I have bee a Research Assistant at the National University of Lesotho working on wetland systems of Lesotho in collaboration with the Department of Water Affairs under the Ministry of Energy,Meteorology and Water Affairs. I working in this Ministry. I thank for all organizations which organized this course to contribute to sustainable development goals.

  • #11035
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    Frederik Pischke
    Participant

    Welcome Motlatsi. From your experience working on the wetlands systems of Lesotho and the drought in the country, which I have heard – interestingly – being characterize by some as a “green drought” what is your perspective on the uniqueness of drought in comparison to other hazards? Do you have thoughts on what a drought can tell us about the way we manage water?

  • #11036
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    edjoh
    Participant

    Hello, My name is John Ede, to answer What makes droughts unique in comparison to other hazards? droughts happens over an extended period of time as against some hazards that just happen upon us despite the warning signs that follow before their occur. for Drought, there is the natural elements and the man made elements to its cause. the natural elements humans do not have control over them, but the human elements will require behavioral change, to reduce the impact.
    Take for instance the drought prone regions of Nigeria in the far northern regions that have an escalating desert encroachment concerns, i strongly belief that with some vegetation by the locals that survive in the these kind of weather conditions, and also reduce the heating effects, the weather should improve and possibly mitigate drought.

    • #11061
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      Pheko
      Participant

      From my experience in the wetland systems of Lesotho,most of them have degraded and so are not longer functioning interms of the ecosystem functioning of the wetlands. The degraded wetlands have been included by improper management through land use practices. on the other hand climate change has also contributed to the collapse of the wetlands. There has been a drought which brought threats to the country due to the drying of the wetlands. Therefore,rivers and important aquifers were no longer being recharged due to prolonged period of no rainfall and intensive hot weather. As such this brought negative impacts on the environment and also the livelihoods. Hence the way water should be managed is through IWRM which will enhance management of water in hydrological boundaries. There should be stakeholder participation pertaining to management of water.

    • #11319
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      ledoux
      Participant

      Hi Edjoh, thanks for your comment.
      Locals could plant some vegetation to put a kind of “green belt” in the northern parts of Nigeria,Cameroon and other Arid and Semi-arid Lands (ASALs).

  • #11057
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    SEVERE FOSSI TUEKAM
    Participant

    A hazard could be defined as a threatening event, or the probability of occurrence of a potentially damaging phenomenon within a given time period and a given area. It could be natural (earthquakes, landslides, tsunamis, volcanic activity, etc.), technological or man-made (pollution, complex emergencies/conflicts, famine, displaced populations, industrial accidents, transport accidents, etc.). Nowadays, due to climate change and the role of human activities on its occurrence, we can say that drought is a hazard which is both natural (because it is a naturally occurring physical phenomena caused either by rapid or slow onset events which can be climatological) and man-made (because it could be a consequence of the climate change).

  • #11134
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    Frederik Pischke
    Participant

    Thanks to all who have participated in the discussion so far. Interesting perspectives are coming up. In the last days before closing this module it would be great to also hear from the others to explore aspects of the questions (and responses).
    On the issue if a drought can highlight the weaknesses of a certain approach to water management: In the discussion of the lessons of the drought in California the following statement provides an interesting perspective “Perhaps the greatest lesson is how unimportant a drought can be if we manage water well.” (The article with a summary of interesting findings is available here. Can you relate to it where you are coming from? Or do you think this statement misses the point?

    • #11320
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      ledoux
      Participant

      Hi Frederik, many thanks for the link.
      I can relate entirely to it where I am coming from because this statement highlights the importance of the approach of water management: in many areas, much of the lost water supply from drought is made up for by withdrawals of water from storage, particularly groundwater.

  • #11171

    Hi I am Diego G. I think the drought is a slow process and takes time to consolidate. This can extend over a large area and can even have irreversible consequences on soils, such as relocation of populations. Definitely water management should be redirected towards a more participatory vision. Moreover, it is important to know experiences of populations that traditionally have had to live with the drought, in the vast majority of cases the impacts of droughts as inundciones, these are given by little preparation. An example of this may be the recent problem of drought in Sao Paulo Brazil, where they are being affected millions of people.

  • #11191
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    Menahil Hannouna
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    I agree with all that has been stated above which identifies the drought as a complicated phenomenon requires a lot of national and global intention. It has been recognized as extreme climate event occurring world –wide and as per the 4th report of the IPCC “droughts are by far the most damaging of all natural disasters”. In comparison to flood, the drought extends mostly to large geographical areas that might cover more than two neighboring countries and not limited to the river basins and catchment areas. From my perspective, the flood is rather an issue related to the level of development of the water courses’ storage capacity and infrastructure while drought is a hazard that can be mitigated by improved and sustainable water resources management. The risk of Drought can better be managed through regional cooperation in hydro-meteorological monitoring and prediction .

  • #11192
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    Menahil Hannouna
    Participant

    For the article on California Drought, it has been overcome by rationalizing the various water uses associated with alternative agricultural actions. The article missed to consider the reduction in river water due to potential upstream development activities and plans that are leading consequently to water conflicts which is becoming a case in “Iraq” that is historically part of the “Mesopotamia” that was the cradle of the early civilizations . I emphasize on the necessity to consider the concept of “right to water” and just distribution at local and transboundary levels to ensure less impact of meteorological drought events which definitely will mitigate the effect of the hydrological drought.

  • #11285
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    Emma Mackenzie
    Participant

    Hi all, some thoughts on the original post by Frederik.. drought is so very different from hazards such as flooding or bushfire. These are events spanning hours or days, whereas drought can go for years. The impacts of drought (compared with these other 2 examples) can be subtle/harder to recognise because they happen over a longer time period. Eg farming enterprises with declining productivity, to the point where they are unsustainable; populations of flora and fauna species declining. The response to drought is more difficult because the problem is less immmediate – as opposed to say flood or fire where basic safety is the obvious requirement; also water resources management in general is difficult because it affects so many different stakeholders; and relationships are related eg upstream/ downstream; close to the resource or distant from it; with or without infrastructure..

  • #11303
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    Federica Ferrari
    Participant

    Hi, Federica speaking.Drought is definitely linked to IWRM because the impact depends on the level of the country to react and to cope with the event. Countries policies might prevent or mitigate the impact of disasters, adopting an early warning system and mitigation measures, allocating funds to support agriculture and population in need. We said that drought differs by aridity for the human imprinting, which must be regulated by IWRM policies. Natural disasters risk reduction must be included in the IWRM in some areas prone to this disaster because we already know that are cyclic events and his socio-economic impact are possible to mitigate supporting people’s resilient thought policies and regulation and intervention on water infrastructures.

  • #11321
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    ledoux
    Participant

    Drought is unique in comparison to other hazards because it is a complex disaster due to its often long persistence and the propagation through the entire hydrological cycle.
    The related impacts of drougth are often difficult to quantify: they are non-structural and spread over larger areas and longer periods than damages resulting from other natural hazards such as floods or forest fires.
    Drougth is comparable to other hazards because its negative socio-economic impacts are frequently reported for agricultural production, public water supply, power generation, tourism, and other water-dependent industries, environmental impacts related to water quality, wetlands and biodiversity that in the long-run may lead to environmental degradation.
    Drought risks can be seen as a stress test to the way we manage water. Thus, some drought impacts are associated with managed water supplies, such as the amount of water that can be delivered to a municipal customer, or unmanaged water supplies.

  • #11784
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    shamim
    Participant

    I find these information very important and I want to share them.Drought results from a deficiency of precipitation from statistically normal (long-term average) amounts that, when extended over a season or especially over a longer period of time, is insufficient to meet the demands of human activities.Actually drought is a slow-onset, creeping natural hazard. Its effects often accumulate slowly over a considerable period of time and may linger for years after the termination of the drought event. Drought is considered by many to be the most complex but least understood of all natural hazards, affecting more people than any other. It is a normal feature of climate and its recurrence is inevitable. However, there remains much confusion about its characteristics Drought differs from other natural hazards in several ways, drought are nonstructural and typically are spread over a larger geographical area than are damages resulting from other natural hazards. Actually droughts differs in terms of 1) intensity 2) duration 3) spatial extent.
    Drought is difficult to forecast, its impacts can be significantly mitigated. This can be achieved through a more proactive, risk-based management approaches.

  • #11868
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    fakunle
    Participant

    Drought is very unique from other hazards because its onset is very slow and latent while its impacts may last for several years unlike other hazards.For example in Nigeria, evident of drought is every where in northern parts of the country and government has been trying to provide solution but no tangible result while they left out the southern part because they see reduce precipitation as the only sign of drought.

  • #11869
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    fakunle
    Participant

    Drought risk tells us that water management should be given a priority and encompassing approach in any country. Drought problem can fully be addressed when all the different parts of water cycle are looked into. For example, in Nigeria, only meteorological drought is given attention and this is only in norther part of the country whereas agricultural drought and socio-economic drought are prevalence in the southern part and no effort is yet in place to address them. This therefore calls for an integrated water resource management such that all the components of water cycle are investigated in all the regions of the country.

  • #11870
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    fakunle
    Participant

    An integrated approach helps us in managing drought risk by promoting equity in water access, economic efficiency in interventions and environmental sustainability.

    It helps to address key water issues during drought through the following : decrease demand/demand management, increase supply of water from other sources and reallocation of water in full or part from users with non vital roles to users with more vital roles in the socio-economy.

    I f this is well handled, the integrated approach of water management will promote (1) enabling environment whereby policy and legal instruments are ready to support water management decisions during drought , (2) institutional framework where properly trained staff and coordination mechanisms to deal with different needs of the drought situation and its implication are available. (3) Management tools, regulations, emergency and contingency plans and impact assessment methodologies will be developed and internalized in the institutions.

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