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Resources 2019, 8(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8010006

Assessment of the Vulnerability to Drought and Desertification Characteristics Using the Standardized Drought Vulnerability Index (SDVI) and the Environmentally Sensitive Areas Index (ESAI)

1
Department of Natural Resources Development & Agricultural Engineering, Agricultural University of Athens, 11855 Athens, Greece
2
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Colorado State University, Campus Delivery 1372, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1372, USA
3
Colorado Water Institute, Colorado State University, Campus Delivery 1033, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1033, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 November 2018 / Revised: 21 December 2018 / Accepted: 22 December 2018 / Published: 30 December 2018
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Abstract

The degradation of natural resources at an intense rate creates serious problems in the environmental systems particularly with the compounding effects of climatic vagaries and changes. On the one hand, desertification is a crucial universal, mostly an anthropogenic environmental issue affecting soils all over the world. On the other hand, drought is a natural phenomenon in direct association with reduced rainfall in various spatial and temporal frames. Vulnerabilities to drought and desertification are complex processes caused by environmental, ecological, social, economic and anthropogenic factors. Particularly for the Mediterranean semi-arid conditions, where the physical and structural systems are more vulnerable, the abuse and overuse of the natural resources lead to their degradation and ultimately, if the current trends continue, to their marginalization. The scope of the current effort is trying to find any common drivers for the pressures of both processes. Thus, the vulnerabilities to drought and desertification are comparing by using the Standardized Drought Vulnerability Index (SDVI) and the Environmentally Sensitive Areas Index (ESAI). The indices are calculated from October 1983 to September 1996 in Greece. Greece is prone to desertification and it is often experiencing intense droughts, thus it presents an almost ideal case study area. The results may indicate that the most important factor for such procedures is the deficits in water resources, either due to lower than usually expected rainfall or to higher societal water demand. View Full-Text
Keywords: integrated water resources management; drought management; contingency planning; drought; desertification; vulnerability; indices comparison integrated water resources management; drought management; contingency planning; drought; desertification; vulnerability; indices comparison
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Tsesmelis, D.E.; Karavitis, C.A.; Oikonomou, P.D.; Alexandris, S.; Kosmas, C. Assessment of the Vulnerability to Drought and Desertification Characteristics Using the Standardized Drought Vulnerability Index (SDVI) and the Environmentally Sensitive Areas Index (ESAI). Resources 2019, 8, 6.

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