Drought Assessment and Mitigation in Southwest Asia

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Drought Assessment and Mitigation in Southwest Asia: project overview and workshop format

Vladimir Smakhtin
Presentation at the South West Asia Regional Drought Workshop
Colombo, Sri Lanka, 7 October 2004

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Drought Assessment and Mitigation in Southwest Asia

  1. 1. DROUGHT ASSESSMENT AND MITIGATION IN SOUTHWEST ASIA: project overview and workshop format Vladimir Smakhtin Presentation at the South West Asia Regional Drought Workshop Colombo, Sri Lanka, 7 October 2004
  2. 2. STRUCTURE OF THE PRESENTATION • Droughts- General • Regional Drought Project at a glance • What do we want from this Workshop
  3. 3. DROUGHTS - GENERAL • Drought is a natural hazard and a normal part of climate for ALL world regions • Drought always stems from the lack of precipitation. When precipitation deficiency continues for a season, year or longer – water supplies become insufficient to meet human demands • Drought is a temporary phenomenon. It develops slow and is difficult to detect. Drought is a recurring event • Drought is the most complex of all natural hazards. Perceptions on Droughts differ
  4. 4. DROUGHTS IN SOUTH WEST ASIA • Droughts never leave South-West Asia. They just migrate from one province, State or District to another. Drought impacts are non- structural and spread over large areas. • The ability of governments in the region and international agencies to deal and cope up with droughts remains to be constrained by the absence of reliable data and tools, information networks and institutional capacities. • But drought impacts in the region can be reduced through improved management and regional cooperation
  5. 5. REGIONAL DROUGHT PROJECT Objectives: To identify existing technical, institutional and policy gaps in drought management in southwest Asia (west India, Pakistan and Afghanistan) To suggest ways to improve drought mitigation efforts in the short and long-term Sponsored by: US Department of State, Regional Environment Office for South Asia
  6. 6. DROUGHT CRISIS MANAGEMENT VERSUS DROUGHT RISK MANAGEMENT • Post-impact interventions—drought relief (emergency assistance). Reactive approach. Often referred to as “crisis management”. • Preparedness planning and mitigation. Often referred to as “risk management”. Pro-active. Actions are planned in advance
  7. 7. APPROACH • The State of the Art of drought management in the region may be assessed in terms of how well different countries are PREPARED to effectively respond to droughts • Drought Preparedness implies: – Drought monitoring and early warning systems should be put in place – Drought risks (hazard, vulnerability) should be understood and quantified – Appropriate drought mitigation and response strategies should be developed in accordance with the quantified risks • The approach therefore is to identify problems/issues in the components above and to suggest ways to fill the identified gaps
  8. 8. THE MATRIX OF PROJECT COMPONENTS Component Geographical focus and/or scale Developing a remote The entire southwest Asia Region, including west India, Pakistan and sensing based Afghanistan regional drought monitoring system Drought hazard India: Rajasthan and Pakistan: Baluchistan Afghanistan: national analysis Gujarat states and Sindh provinces Socio-economic India: Rajasthan Pakistan: Baluchistan Afghanistan: Ghor, surveys of rural and Sindh provinces Badhgis Helmand and population Kandahar provinces Analysis of drought- India: national and Pakistan: national Afghanistan: national related institutions Rajasthan and policies Assessment of the India: Rajasthan Pakistan: Baluchistan Afghanistan: national potential of water and Sindh provinces harvesting technologies to withstand droughts
  9. 9. PARTNERS • In India: • Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR), Delhi. • Institute of Development Studies (IDS), Jaipur • Central Arid Zone Research Institute (CAZRI), Jodhpur • Sewa Mandir – an NGO based in Udaipur • Indian Meteorology Department (IMD), Pune • In Pakistan: • Pakistan Agricultural Research Council, Islamabad • Water Resources Research Institute, Islamabad • Faisalabad Agricultural University, Faisalabad • Peshawar Agricultural University, Peshawar • Arid Zone Research Institute (AZRI), Quetta • Pakistan Meteorological Department, Islamabad KU • In Afghanistan: • Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Kabul-Herat • Kabul University, Faculty of Agriculture, Kabul • Ministry of Irrigation, Water and Environment, Kabul • FAO, Afghanistan
  10. 10. ONLINE DROUGHT MONITORING SYSTEM (DMS) • DMS is accessible on-line (http://dms.iwmi.org) • DMS allows the condition of ground vegetation to be monitored in time and space • DMS is based on high-resolution remote sensing data (0.5 by 0.5 km). This allows drought conditions to be monitored up to the level of a tehsil or a village • New data may be uploaded every 8 or 16 days, which makes it a “near real time” system Click on the Image to examine drought conditions in Your Area of Interest
  11. 11. ONLINE DROUGHT MONITORING SYSTEM (DMS) • DMS is accessible on-line (http://dms.iwmi.org) • DMS allows the condition of ground vegetation to be monitored in time and space • DMS is based on high-resolution remote sensing data (0.5 by 0.5 km). This allows drought conditions to be monitored up to the level of a tehsil or a village • New data may be uploaded every 8 or 16 days, which makes it a “near real time” system Drought free zone Mild Drought zone Spatial view Severe Drought zone Time Series of a District graph for a with District or vegetation Specific index location
  12. 12. DROUGHT HAZARD MAPPING Drought hazard mapping has direct implications for drought planning and emergency assistance District-wise Distribution of Moderate, Severe & Extreme Drought Years in Gujarat (Similar analyses has been carried out for other States and Countries) (one bar unit corresponds to one drought year)
  13. 13. DROUGHT ASSESSMENT SOFTWARE Main screen Drought indices calculation screen •Software allows a variety of drought characteristics to be calculated, displayed, mapped •It is part of a much larger comprehensive software package for multiple water resources analyses, which could be useful in its own capacity of drought indices Time series plots of drought characteristics Mapping •Software targets meteorological departments, water authorities, water research institutions
  14. 14. EVALUATING POTENTIAL FOR WATER HARVESTING • Review of traditional and modern technologies for water harvesting, their current spread and performance in different regions • Quantification of the potential that such methods have to withstand droughts of different extremity • Developing an Internet bank of information on water harvesting measures, traditional and novel irrigation systems and techniques – with illustration of how they operate, photos etc
  15. 15. EVALUATING POTENTIAL FOR WATER HARVESTING • Review of traditional and modern technologies for water harvesting, their current spread and performance in different regions • Quantification of the potential that such methods have to withstand droughts of different extremity • Developing an Internet bank of information on water harvesting measures, traditional and novel irrigation systems and techniques – with illustration of how they operate, photos etc
  16. 16. EVALUATING DROUGHT POLICIES AND INSTITUTIONS The following general questions apply: • Do the relevant policies and institutions exist ? • If “yes” - do they establish operating guidelines for drought management ? • Do they reflect regional differences in drought characteristics, vulnerability, and impact ? • Are they linked with national policies on water resources management, disaster management ? • Do they promote principles of drought preparedness by encouraging adoption of – Reliable forecasts and early warning systems – Actions and programs that reduce anticipated drought impacts – Coordinated emergency response programs that ensure timely and targeted relief during droughts ?
  17. 17. SURVEYS OF DROUGHT COPING MEASURES OF RURAL POPULATION • Afganistan, Baluchistan and Sindh, Rajasthan • Surveys aimed to identify and document – How people on the ground perceive droughts – How people adapt to recurring water scarcity – What interventions by the governments/NGOs are needed to enhance this adaptation – How effective the previous interventions were • Feed into vulnerability assessment (who is at risk and why)
  18. 18. PROJECT WEB SITE http://www.iwmi.cgiar.org/droughtassessment/index.asp • content: – General information about droughts – Overview of the Project activities – Project Publications – Links to Partner web sites and other drought related web sites – Databases of regional literature on droughts and organizations involved in drought research and management – Drought software description – Access to Regional Drought Monitoring system – Information about our sponsors – More…
  19. 19. A FEW KEY MESSAGES • Relief - emergency assistance – dominates the current anti-drought actions in the region. A paradigm shift towards drought preparedness is necessary • Without improved quantification of drought hazard in different parts of the region and effective early warning systems drought preparedness may not be achieved. Both are impossible without improved data availability and access • Even if drought hazard is fully understood and well predicted in advance, but little is done about decreasing vulnerability of population and economic sectors to it – drought impacts will remain significant
  20. 20. RECOMMENDATIONS AND THE WAY FORWARD • Develop common understanding of a drought • Natural hazard with far reaching economic and social consequences • Normal part of climate, • Temporary and recurring event • Contributes to permanently declining overall water supplies • Improve regional drought monitoring and early warning systems (long-term). • Integrate RS data into such systems: it has a significant potential for drought monitoring, which is not fully utilized at present • Ensure timely acquisition and delivery of climate data: RS will not do the job alone • Integrate weather forecast into such systems • Develop well-targeted information messages • Develop mechanisms for delivery of warnings (TV, Internet) • Improve data availability and access (short- and long-term) • Rainfall data (at least) should not be classified and should be free • Integrate data collected by different agencies into one centralized source in each country • Improve storage of already collected data to avoid data losses • Improve data collection networks • Illustrate the economic value of hydrometeorological data
  21. 21. RECOMMENDATIONS AND WAY FORWARD • Plan in advance (long-term) - Do it during normal periods. • Develop / improve drought hazard (climate) and drought vulnerability (population, sectors) maps • Plan measures, institutional structure, capacity building and logistics for relief according to vulnerability level of each region. • Develop Relief Master Plan. Locate relief material banks in vulnerable regions to ensure quicker response • Develop crop yield and/or income insurance schemes. • Apply innovative technologies for water harvesting. Is artificial recharge • a solution for water scarce areas? • Decrease the dependency of population on land-based activities • Set up an example project for development of a Drought Plan- in one country or State • Ensure Policy support for drought preparedness and planning • Set Regional drought preparedness network (short-term) • Establishing regional drought information center • Regular regional conference on Droughts • South Asia Drought Encyclopedia / Drought Management Handbook
  22. 22. THE OBJECTIVES OF THE WORKSHOP • To present and discuss some preliminary results /outputs of the Project • To inform participants about other relevant initiatives and practices in drought assessment and mitigation – in the region and internationally • To discuss the potential for and the way forward in drought mitigation in the region
  23. 23. ANTICIPATED OUTPUTS OF THE WORKSHOP • The list of priority components for future anti-drought work in the region with recommendations on related benchmarks and targets • Workshop proceedings, which will document the discussions held and presentations made • Workshop results will be synthezised, integrated with other project outputs and made broadly available
  24. 24. THANK YOU ! Drought Relief Time – Coffee Break

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