What is Drought?

Drought is a deficiency in precipitation over an extended period, usually a season or more, resulting in a water shortage causing adverse impacts on vegetation, animals, and/or people. It is a normal, recurrent feature of climate that occurs in virtually all climate zones, from very wet to very dry. Drought is a temporary aberration from normal climatic conditions, thus it can vary significantly from one region to another. Drought is different than aridity, which is a permanent feature of climate in regions where low precipitation is the norm, as in a desert.

Human factors, such as water demand and water management, can exacerbate the impact that drought has on a region. Because of the interplay between a natural drought event and various human factors, drought means different things to different people. In practice, drought is defined in a number of ways that reflect various perspectives and interests.  

Defining Drought

For more information on the Drought Tournament click here

NPNRD Community Drought Plan

The NPNRD has been engaged in recent months in its first-ever drought planning process.  This journey began in November 2016, with the successful staging of a Drought Tournament. The Drought Tournament provided an initial opportunity for stakeholders from across the District to begin discussing together the challenges and opportunities that NPNRD communities may face during drought. These conversations, and the ideas they generated, have evolved into the current Drought Plan.  Participating drought-planning stakeholders have brought to the planning process their own personal and sector-related definitions of drought vulnerabilities and impacts, as well as ideas for how to address them. Their efforts have resulted in a Community Drought Plan that addresses education, monitoring, and drought mitigation and response strategies.   This Community Drought Plan represents the combined efforts of planning stakeholders and NPNRD staff to address the needs of the NPNRD itself and the various communities that exist within its borders. 

As the planning process nears completion, the NPNRD wants your feedback on the draft Community Drought Plan. (Click here to view full Drought Plan.)  What excites you about the plan?  What is missing from the plan?  How do you see the activities discussed in the plan being implemented?  How should we measure our progress?

Please submit your comments to .  We will be taking public comment until November 29, 2017. Comments may be incorporated into the draft prior to the NPNRD Board of Directors taking final action on the Plan.