Especially during drought events, it is important that water gets properly allocated and is not misused or wasted. For an effective drought management, it is thus of utmost importance to raise the awareness of water managers as well as the general public about the drought’s severity. In this paper, we provide two possible sources of information that can be used to communicate about drought events. To illustrate our approach, we make use of drought events that were identified in preceding work as connected components in space and time through the use of operators from the field of mathematical morphology and summarized in terms of characteristics such as affected area, duration and intensity. We demonstrate how these drought characteristics can be used to query for historical drought events that are most similar to an ongoing event, such that lessons learnt from the management of past events can be incorporated in the management of the ongoing event. Further, we also demonstrate how a probabilistic model describing the dependence structure between the drought characteristics is identified and how such model can serve as a basis to estimate the severity of the event. Both approaches provide information that can be used to communicate to laymen about the severity of the ongoing drought, which will help them to anticipate the future.
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