Special Issue "Drought Monitoring, Forecasting, and Risk Assessment"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2017).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Paulo Barbosa
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
European Commission, Joint Research Centre
Dr. Jürgen Vogt
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
European Commission, Joint Research Centre
Tel. +39 0332-785481

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Drought is a well-known natural hazard that has an important impact in different sectors of our society and economy, whether it be agriculture, hydro-power production, water-borne transport, or the water supply for public and industrial use. To be able to properly manage, mitigate, and adapt to droughts in the context of a changing climate, it is of paramount importance to not only assess and forecast droughts through the development of drought early warning systems but to also understand the present and long term risks related to drought events. We therefore invite papers in the field of drought monitoring, forecasting, and risk assessment under both current and future climate, including climate change adaptation to drought.

Dr. Paulo Barbosa
Dr. Jürgen Vogt
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • drought
  • forecasting
  • risk assessment
  • climate change adaptation

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Current and Future SPEI Droughts in the La Plata Basin Based on Results from the Regional Eta Climate Model
Water 2017, 9(11), 857; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9110857 - 04 Nov 2017
Cited by 4
Abstract
We identified and analysed droughts in the La Plata Basin (divided into seven sub-basins) for the current period (1961–2005) and estimated their expected evolution under future climate projections for the periods 2011–2040, 2041–2070, and 2071–2099. Future climate projections were analysed from results of [...] Read more.
We identified and analysed droughts in the La Plata Basin (divided into seven sub-basins) for the current period (1961–2005) and estimated their expected evolution under future climate projections for the periods 2011–2040, 2041–2070, and 2071–2099. Future climate projections were analysed from results of the Eta Regional Climate Model (grid resolution of approximately 10 km) forced by the global climate model HadGEM2-ES over the La Plata basin, and considering a RCP4.5 emission scenario. Within each sub-basin, we particularly focused our drought analyses on croplands and grasslands, due to their economic relevance. The three-month Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI3) was used for drought identification and characterization. Droughts were evaluated in terms of time (percentage of time from the total length of each climate scenario), space (percentage of total area), and severity (SPEI3 values) of cells characterized by cropland and grassland for each sub-basin and climate scenario. Drought-severity–area–frequency curves were developed to quantitatively relate the frequency distribution of drought occurrence to drought severity and area. For the period 2011–2040, droughts dominate the northern sub-basins, whereas alternating wet and short dry periods dominate the southern sub-basins. Wet climate spread from south to north within the La Plata Basin as more distant future scenarios were analysed, due to both a greater number of wet periods and fewer droughts. The area of each sub-basin affected by drought in all climate scenarios was highly varied temporally and spatially. The likelihood of the occurrence of droughts differed significantly between the studied cover types in the Lower Paraguay sub-basin, being higher for cropland than for grassland. Mainly in the Upper Paraguay and in the Upper Paraná basins the climate projections for all scenarios showed an increase of moderate and severe droughts over large regions dedicated to crops and grasses. On the other hand, for the near future, the Lower Uruguay and the River Plata basins showed a decrease of drought severity compared to the current period. Projections suggest an increase in competition among uses in these regions and the need for a potential relocation of certain crops from the northern regions towards cooler regions located in the centre and south. Further research should consider other climate projections and perform high spatial resolution studies in localized areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drought Monitoring, Forecasting, and Risk Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing Agricultural Drought in the Anthropocene: A Modified Palmer Drought Severity Index
Water 2017, 9(10), 725; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9100725 - 26 Sep 2017
Cited by 1
Abstract
In the current human-influenced era, drought is initiated by natural and human drivers, and human activities are as integral to drought as meteorological factors. In large irrigated agricultural regions with high levels of human intervention, where the natural farmland soil moisture has usually [...] Read more.
In the current human-influenced era, drought is initiated by natural and human drivers, and human activities are as integral to drought as meteorological factors. In large irrigated agricultural regions with high levels of human intervention, where the natural farmland soil moisture has usually been changed significantly by high-frequency irrigation, the actual severity of agricultural drought is distorted in traditional drought indices. In this work, an agricultural drought index that considering irrigation processes based on the Palmer drought severity index (IrrPDSI) was developed to interpret the real agricultural drought conditions in irrigated regions, with a case study in the Haihe River Basin in northeast China. The water balance model in the original PDSI was revised by an auto-irrigation threshold method combined with a local irrigation schedule. The auto-irrigation setting of the index was used by taking irrigation quotas during specific growth stages of specific crops (wheat–corn) into consideration. A series of weekly comparative analyses are as follows: (1) The soil moisture analyses showed that soil moisture values calculated by the modified water balance model were close to the real values; (2) The statistical analyses indicated that most of the stations in the study area based on IrrPDSI had nearly normal distributed values; (3) The time series and spatial analyses showed that the results of the IrrPDSI-reported dry-wet evaluation were more consistent with documented real conditions. All the results revealed that IrrPDSI performed well when used to assess agricultural drought. This work has direct significance for agricultural drought management in large irrigated areas heavily disturbed by human activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drought Monitoring, Forecasting, and Risk Assessment)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Spatio-Temporal Patterns of the 2010–2015 Extreme Hydrological Drought across the Central Andes, Argentina
Water 2017, 9(9), 652; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9090652 - 30 Aug 2017
Cited by 13
Abstract
During the period 2010–2015, the semi-arid Central Andes in Argentina (CAA) experienced one of the most severe and long-lasting hydrological droughts on record. Since the snowmelt is the most important source of water, the reduced snowfall over the mountains propagated the drought signal [...] Read more.
During the period 2010–2015, the semi-arid Central Andes in Argentina (CAA) experienced one of the most severe and long-lasting hydrological droughts on record. Since the snowmelt is the most important source of water, the reduced snowfall over the mountains propagated the drought signal through the streamflows in the adjacent foothills east of the Andes ranges. Motivated by the widespread impacts on the socio-economic activities in the region, this study aims to characterize the recent hydrological drought in terms of streamflow deficits. Based on streamflow data from 20 basins, we used the standardized streamflow index (SSI) to characterize hydrological droughts during the period 1971–2016. We found that the regional extent of the 2010–2015 hydrological drought was limited to the basins located north of 38° S, with mean duration of 67 months and maximum drought severity exhibiting a heterogeneous pattern in terms of spatial distribution and time of occurrence. The drought event reached extreme conditions in 14 of the 15 basins in the CAA, being record-breaking drought in six of the basins. This condition was likely driven by a cooling in the tropical Pacific Ocean resembling La Niña conditions, which generated a decrease in snowfall over the Andes due to suppressed frontal activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drought Monitoring, Forecasting, and Risk Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
An Entropy-Based Investigation into Bivariate Drought Analysis in China
Water 2017, 9(9), 632; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9090632 - 23 Aug 2017
Abstract
Because of the high correlation between random variables of drought duration and severity, their joint distribution is difficult to obtain by traditional mathematical methods. However, the copula method has proved to be a useful tool for analyzing the frequency of drought duration and [...] Read more.
Because of the high correlation between random variables of drought duration and severity, their joint distribution is difficult to obtain by traditional mathematical methods. However, the copula method has proved to be a useful tool for analyzing the frequency of drought duration and severity. Most studies have used different marginal distribution functions to fit the drought duration and severity distributions. This requires a great deal of contrast analysis, and sometimes two or more distributions fit the data well. Based on entropy theory, however, a unified probability distribution function is derived which reduces complex contrast analysis and improves the filtering distribution function. Based on monthly precipitation data at 162 stations in China for 1961–2015, the monthly standardized precipitation index was calculated and used to extract drought duration and severity. Then the entropy distribution was used to fit the distributions of drought duration and severity, and to establish the correspondence between them. The probabilities of the interval and return periods were then determined using the copula method. An analysis of the discrepancy between the conventional and entropy-based methods indicated that the entropy distribution showed a better fit than conventional methods for drought duration distribution, although no obvious difference was found in drought severity distribution. The entropy-based results were more consistent with the empirical data, whereas conventional methods showed apparent deviation in some drought types. Hence, the entropy-based method is proposed as an alternative method of deriving the marginal distributions of drought duration and severity, and for analyzing the interval probability and return period in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drought Monitoring, Forecasting, and Risk Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Reconciling Drought Vulnerability Assessment Using a Convergent Approach: Application to Water Security in the Elqui River Basin, North-Central Chile
Water 2017, 9(8), 589; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9080589 - 08 Aug 2017
Cited by 1
Abstract
Drought has been, is and most likely will remain one of the most significant socio-natural disasters affecting society and the environment worldwide. One priority objective in the adoption of national drought policies is to promote standardized approaches to vulnerability assessment. To reach this [...] Read more.
Drought has been, is and most likely will remain one of the most significant socio-natural disasters affecting society and the environment worldwide. One priority objective in the adoption of national drought policies is to promote standardized approaches to vulnerability assessment. To reach this objective, however, there is a need to address the noticeable lack of reconciliation between the two major epistemic frameworks that have been used to determine who is vulnerable and why: the so-called outcome and contextual frameworks. This study presents a novel procedure called the convergent approach to assess drought vulnerability under an integral framework. The procedure has been applied to the study of the vulnerability of water security to drought in water-use sectors in a basin located in north-central Chile. The study is justified by the role that drought plays as the major threat to water security in a context of global water crisis. The results show that the convergent approach outperforms traditional procedures such as those based on composite indicators, showing sound robustness and reaching sufficient levels of reliability and validity. The potential expansion of this approach to other applications, such as those related to global estimations of vulnerability to drought, is also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drought Monitoring, Forecasting, and Risk Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of the SMOS-Derived Soil Water Deficit Index as Agricultural Drought Index in Northeast of Brazil
Water 2017, 9(6), 377; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9060377 - 27 May 2017
Cited by 8
Abstract
Northeast Brazil (NEB) has recently experienced one of its worst droughts in the last decades, with large losses on rainfed agriculture. Soil moisture is the main variable to monitor agricultural drought. The remote sensing approach for drought monitoring has been enriched with the [...] Read more.
Northeast Brazil (NEB) has recently experienced one of its worst droughts in the last decades, with large losses on rainfed agriculture. Soil moisture is the main variable to monitor agricultural drought. The remote sensing approach for drought monitoring has been enriched with the launch of the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) in November 2009 by European Space Agency (ESA). In this work, the Soil Water Deficit Index (SWDI) was calculated using the SMOS L2 soil moisture in the NEB. The SMOS-derived SWDI data (SWDIS) were evaluated against the atmospheric water deficit (AWD) calculated from in situ observations. Comparisons were made at seven-day and 0.25° scales, over the time-span of June 2010 to December 2013. It was found that the SWDIS has a reasonably good overall performance in terms of the drought-weeks detection (skill = 0.986) and capture of the upper soil moisture temporal dynamic (r = 0.652), implying that the SWDIS could be used to track agricultural droughts. Furthermore, SWDIS shows poor performance at sites located in mountains regions affected by severe droughts (−0.10 ≤ r ≤ 0.10). It is also noted that the vegetal cover/use, climate regime, and soil texture have little influence on the AWD-SWDIS coupling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drought Monitoring, Forecasting, and Risk Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Anomalous Features of Water Vapor Transport during Severe Summer and Early Fall Droughts in Southwest China
Water 2017, 9(4), 244; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9040244 - 31 Mar 2017
Cited by 9
Abstract
Water vapor transport (WVT) is an important element in drought development. In this study, we examined the geographical and vertical anomalies of WVT during severe summer and early fall drought processes and their occurrence, persistence and recovery phases in Southwest China (SWC) by [...] Read more.
Water vapor transport (WVT) is an important element in drought development. In this study, we examined the geographical and vertical anomalies of WVT during severe summer and early fall drought processes and their occurrence, persistence and recovery phases in Southwest China (SWC) by using the method of standardized anomalies (SA) and composite analysis. The SA-based indices of WVT were built up to quantify composited anomalous WVT channels objectively. Essentially, we further explored the synchronous and lagged correlations between drought processes and these channels. Key points and limitations include: (1) Two drought-related WVT channels were geographically identified with composited SA below −0.2, based on the composite of severe drought processes. The Somali channel is characterized by zonally less-than-normal African-Asian continental WVT anomalies originating from Somalia, whereas the IndoChina-Peninsula channel represents meridionally less-than-normal WVT anomalies from the IndoChina-Peninsula; (2) Both geographical and vertical WVT anomalies were intensified and concentrated at the time of drought occurrence, and then weakened and became scattered at drought recovery; (3) Most drought-related WVT anomalies were distinguishable from those of wetter events; (4) The IndoChina-Peninsula channel performs better in correlations with these drought and wetter processes than the Somali channel. Therefore, dynamic and thermodynamic anomalies need to be investigated, which are important for exploring the drought mechanism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drought Monitoring, Forecasting, and Risk Assessment)
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