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Drought Reports, Papers, Articles and Services

A drought-stunted soybean plant withers in the sun.

United States Department of Agriculture.

"USDA has the science-based solutions and technical experts on the ground today to help farmers and ranchers through drought and to prepare our country for weather events in the future. USDA offers technical and financial assistance to farmers and ranchers to cope with drought across the nation."

World Meteorological Organization.  Global Water Partnership.

"This Handbook of Drought Indicators and is based on available literature and draws findings from relevant works wherever possible. The handbook addresses the needs of practitioners and policymakers and is considered as a resource guide/material for practitioners and not an academic paper. This publication is a ‘living document’ and will be updated based on the experiences of its readers."

USDA Economic Research Service.

"Drought is the leading driver of production risk in U.S. agriculture. Although flooding, early frosts, pests, and other risk factors pose major challenges to farmers, no other source of production risk is as nationally significant as drought in terms of lost agricultural production and income. A major drought can reduce crop yields, lead farmers to cut back planted or harvested acreage, reduce livestock productivity, and increase costs of production inputs such as animal feed or irrigation water."  Article with figures.

NOAA. Satellite and Information Service.

Working cooperatively with the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), state climate offices and among themselves to acquire and disseminate accurate, up-to-date climate data and information. [State Climate Offices can be found through a National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) resource page.]

United States Army Corps of Engineers. Institute for Water Resources.

"This report represents the collaborative work of over 100 researchers and practitioners whose model approach to water management during drought was tested and refined in several case studies across the country."(September 1994)

NASA. Earth Observatory.

Defines drought in three ways: "an extended period of below normal rainfall, a long term depletion of groundwater, or the stunting of vegetation growth due to a lack of water."

Series of publications on the effects of drought and methods to mitigate them.


A Nature Insight issue contains review articles and commentary on these subjects (Vol. 419, No. 6903, 12 Sep 2002).

California Urban Water Conservation Council.

While not agricultural in scope, this program, supported by the EPA, provides information to help citizens identify ways to use water wisely.