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7 Drought Maps for Tracking Water Scarcity

Drought Maps

These 7 drought maps enable us to understand the severity and extent of the drought with up-to-date information. They capture key information like water availability so we can proactively plan and combat the effects of drought. Let’s get started.

1. Global Drought Information System (GDIS)

The Global Drought Information System (GDIS) is an international effort that assists in understanding and tracking global drought patterns. Some of its key benefits include:

  • Includes drought datasets – NADM, CDI, SPEI, and SPI
  • Contains GPCC Drought Index for periods of 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, 24, and 48 months
  • Classifies drought map into wetness and drought categories
  • Categories include vegetation stress, soil moisture deficit, rainfall deficit, partial recovery, and full recovery
  • Restores the map extent and layers visibility where you left off
Global Drought Information System GDIS

2. Global Drought Observatory (GDO)

The Global Drought Observatory (GDO) monitors and assesses drought conditions worldwide. The GDO MapViewer displays the “Risk of Drought impact on Agriculture” as high (3), medium (2), low (1), and no risk (0).

  • Summarizes affected countries by their risk of drought impact on agriculture
  • Add drought forecast layers for unusually dry and wet conditions
  • Create maps that change the time period of risk back to 2010
  • Turn on ancillary datasets like precipitation, temperature, soil moisture, hydrology, and vegetation response
Global Drought Observatory GDO

3. North American Drought Monitor (NADM)

The North American Drought Monitor (NADM) is a continental effort to monitor the effects of drought. This map spans the countries of Canada, the United States, and Mexico with drought conditions.

  • Categorizes as Abnormally Dry (D0), Moderate Drought (D1), Severe Drought (D2), Extreme Drought (D3), and Exceptional Drought (D4)
  • Provides timely assessments of drought conditions across North America
  • Data is available for download in shapefile format
  • Plays a crucial role in early warning systems
North American Drought Monitor NADM

4. Climate Engine

Climate Engine is a web-based platform developed by the Desert Research Institute (DRI) and NASA that provides access to a wide range of climate and remote sensing data. Users can visualize climate variables, such as temperature, precipitation, vegetation, and drought including the following variables. You can also find more wildfire maps that are happening in real-time.

  • Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI)
  • Evaporative Demand Drought Index (EDDI)
  • Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI)
  • Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI)
  • Hargreaves Evaporative Demand Drought Index (EDDI)
Climate Engine

5. National Integrated Drought Information System 

Drought.gov is a website developed by the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) in the United States. It serves as a centralized hub for accessing comprehensive drought information, tools, and resources, providing data, maps, forecasts, and drought-related research. Its map layers include:

  • Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI)
  • 1-Month SPI (CMORPH)
  • 3-Month SPI (ERA5)
  • 9-Month SPI (GPCC)
Drought Gov

6. ReliefWeb

ReliefWeb aims to support effective humanitarian response and coordination through its disaster alert map. This humanitarian information platform provides timely and reliable updates on global crises and disasters including droughts.

  • Lists disaster types with the affected country and current status
  • Describes the reasoning behind droughts and access to water
  • Includes the most pressing humanitarian issues related to the disaster
  • Filter out the types of disasters

7. Global Information and Early Warning System on Food and Agriculture

The primary objective of the Global Information and Early Warning System on Food and Agriculture (GIEWS) is to enhance global monitoring and early warning systems for agricultural drought. GIEWS aims to strengthen the capacity to track and predict agricultural drought conditions on a global scale.

  • Provides precipitation indicators
  • Select countries to highlight the spatial distribution of variables
  • Includes near real-time (10 days) and monthly summary (30 days)
Global Information and Early Warning System on Food and Agriculture

READ MORE: Agriculture and Global Farming Maps

Tracking Water Scarcity with Drought Maps

The use of drought maps has become an essential tool in monitoring and tracking water scarcity around the world.

These drought maps provide crucial visualizations of severity and spatial distribution to make informed decisions regarding water resource management and drought mitigation strategies.

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