Special Issue "Drought Monitoring and Forecasting at Regional and Global Scale Using Remote Sensing, Ground Observations and Global Climate Datasets"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Hydrology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Yared Bayissa
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Assistant Research Scientist, Texas A&M, College Station, TX, USA
Interests: hydrological extremes; drought and vegetation monitoring; watershed management; remote sensing; watershed modeling and climate change
Prof. Dr. Tsegaye Tadesse
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
National Drought Mitigation Center, School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln /815 Hardin Hall, Lincoln, NE 68583-0988, USA
Interests: drought and vegetation monitoring; remote sensing; agricultural development; food security, and climate change/variability at national and international levels
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Drought has significant impacts on different socioeconomic sectors, including water availability for agriculture, drinking water supply, and the ecosystem in general. It covers a large area without being recognized, and it is often difficult to characterize its onset and offset. Understanding its characteristics through an integrative approach using the available information is paramount for preparedness and planning of water resources, and to develop a robust drought-resilient system. Basically, drought indices are widely applied to monitor drought using station-based hydrometeorological observations and remote sensing products at regional and global spatial scales. Some of the indices use a single input variable to characterize the hidden aspects of drought while other indices use more than one input variable to characterize the complex nature of drought. Recently, the blending of several input variables representing different components of the hydrological cycle (e.g., precipitation, soil moisture, reservoir levels, river flow, groundwater levels) using data mining and other machine learning approaches has also seen increasing application.

The development of a rigorous real-time drought monitoring tool is a foundation for the effort towards developing drought forecasting and early warning systems to mitigate its adverse impacts and avert catastrophe. Climate change and global warming are intensifying the frequency and severity of drought. However, advances in atmospheric sciences have laid a platform for easily accessible future climate projected data that are mainly derived from global circulation models using different boundary conditions. Projected climate data are potential resources in the process of developing a drought forecasting system at different lead times to a certain uncertainty band.

Therefore, this Special Issue has the theme “Drought monitoring and forecasting at regional and global scale using remote sensing, ground observations and global climate datasets”, and we welcome novel research covering drought monitoring, the development of new drought indexes or the improvement of existing indexes, drought forecasting, risk and vulnerability assessment and management, remote sensing and its application for drought monitoring, vegetation and forest drought monitoring, climate projections and application for drought forecasting, the application of machine learning for the development of drought forecasting systems, the application of in situ measurements to validate drought products, and any other drought-related studies.

Dr. Yared Bayissa
Prof. Dr. Assefa M. Melesse
Prof. Dr. Tsegaye Tadesse
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • drought monitoring and forecasting
  • drought indices
  • vegetation and forest stress
  • drought risk assessment and vulnerability
  • drought resilience
  • remote sensing of drought
  • climate change
  • moisture stress
  • low flows

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Assessment of the Continuous Extreme Drought Events in Namibia during the Last Decade
Water 2021, 13(20), 2942; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13202942 - 19 Oct 2021
Viewed by 586
In the context of climate change, the intensity, frequency, and duration of drought events have increased significantly, resulting in a profound impact on both natural ecosystems and socio-economic systems. In arid and semi-arid regions, precipitation is the main limiting factor for vegetation growth, [...] Read more.
In the context of climate change, the intensity, frequency, and duration of drought events have increased significantly, resulting in a profound impact on both natural ecosystems and socio-economic systems. In arid and semi-arid regions, precipitation is the main limiting factor for vegetation growth, and the ecosystems are very sensitive to climate change. Over the past 10 years, the Namibian government has declared national emergencies in 2013, 2016, and 2019 due to extreme drought events. The continued extreme drought has posed serious threat to the country’s food security. Accurately monitoring the continuous drought events in Namibia and assessing their impact on the ecosystem is essential for drought risk management in the region. Based on long-term satellite observation of vegetation index and precipitation, we have evaluated the spatiotemporal dynamics of the three drought events, the vegetation–precipitation relationship across biomes, and the impact of continuous drought events on regional ecosystems. The results suggest that: (1) According to affected area and severity, the drought in 2019 was the most severe one, followed by the drought in 2013; the 2015–2016 drought spread over smaller spatial area, although it continued for two years; (2) Both the accumulated NDVI and precipitation in the growing season in Namibia increased from 2001 to 2010 while showing a significant decreasing trend during 2011–2020; (3) In Namibia, there is a significant correlation between the current season’s accumulated precipitation and the current season’s accumulated NDVI (r = 0.90, p < 0.01). The current season’s accumulated precipitation is also well correlated with the next season’s accumulated NDVI (r = 0.87, p < 0.01), and the correlation between the current season’s accumulated precipitation and the next season’s accumulated NDVI in a wet year is even stronger (r = 0.96, p < 0.01). This indicates that part of the precipitation in the current season may be stored in the soil for the next season’s plant growth, which is more obvious in the northern plains with deep-rooted woody plants; (4) In 2013, the drought event suddenly changed from a long-term relatively humid state to an extremely dry state. During the ecological recovery stage, the NDVI during the growing season could not return to the state before the drought, causing irreversible damage to the Namibian ecosystem. In summary, the continuous extreme drought events during the last decade have caused profound impacts on the regional ecosystem. Much more attention should be paid to whether the extreme drought events will continue into the next decade and how the ecosystem can sustain a new equilibrium under a warmer and drier climate. Full article
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