Droughts are occurring more frequently. Because populations are increasing and urbanising, the impact of drought on agriculture and people could be devastating. Major cities could run out of water and the resulting unrest could create civil strife, mass migration, and conflict.
Right now, there are droughts all over the world in every continent. Here’s a quick selection:
Time Magazine reports that North Korea is suffering drought and that staple crops such as rice, maize, potatoes and soybean which many North Koreans rely on to get through the May to September period have been decimated by the drought. It is so bad they have had to cancel a beer festival.
The UK meanwhile is on notice after a dry winter. The UK received 76% of its average seasonal rainfall making the 2016/17 winter its third driest winter on record.
i2O’s view is that more needs to be done to mitigate the risks of drought given the increasing frequency of drought conditions. Long-term programmes are required to assure security of supply and to reduce average demand. But so are short-term projects that maximise the efficiency of the existing water distribution network where relatively modest investment can yield significant benefits. We have written a thought piece about drought to help policy makers and water companies mitigate the risk of drought and avoid having to rely on hope and prayer for higher rainfall.