Economic, Environmental and Social Impacts of Drought

984 words (4 pages) Essay in Geography

18/05/20 Geography Reference this

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Drought (800 words)


Drought can be defined as the prevention of human activities and the survival of animals due to insufficient precipitation, such as agriculture, power generation and animal living space (Tait, 2016). Drought can lead to the ground drying up, and can also reduce the volume of water in rivers, lakes and subterranean reservoirs. It is one of the major causes of malnutrition and famine in many parts of the words. This article focuses on three impacts of drought: economic, environmental and social as well as some solutions and with a conclusion.

The current situation

Drought is one of the greatest threats to humanity caused by climate change, and its impact is global (Pearce, 2015). Some studies have shown that the drought has had a very serious impact on Syria, resulting in the influx of thousands of refugees into Europe in early 2000 (Pearce, 2015). Numerous deaths in Africa have been caused by drought during the 2011 and 2012 periods (Pearce, 2015). As a result, many countries have called for the establishment of a drought-predicting agency to prevent the disasters caused by drought (Pearce, 2015).


Drought is a natural disaster, but it is also affected by human activities. Climate change caused by global warming is believed to be one of the causes of the current drought. As temperatures rise, river levels drop and dry up, which can lead to drought. Overirrigation and over-farming by human damage soil quality can also lead to drought (Nag, 2018). Due to excessive deforestation, the soil is more vulnerable to erosion by wind and water because there are no trees to cover it. Therefore, human activities may also trigger drought or aggravate the important factors of climate change (Nag, 2018).



The drought has an impact on many aspects of human beings because water is an important part of human existence.

Economically, the impact of the drought is on personal or corporate property. For example, due to drought, the decline in crop yields and an increase in the cost of raising livestock, lead to losses for farmers. The Waikato region of New Zealand has experienced the driest region of a century in 2008 (Tait, 2016). The drought lasted until April/May, resulting in a loss of more than $1 billion in agricultural costs in the region and an 11% decline in the number of sheep (Tait, 2016). For the tourism industry, tourists may be reluctant to go to drought-affected areas, thereby reducing the income of the local tourism industry. 

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Drought also has a lot of impact on the environment. The survival of animals and plants also depends on water. When the drought occurs, their habitat is seriously threatened and the food supply is reduced, resulting in the death of a large number of animals and plants. Because drought has a long-term impact, when their habitat is destroyed, it takes a long time to recover. For example, the habitat of wild animals may be extinct due to the loss of wetlands, lakes, and vegetation.

Finally, the drought may have some social impact which is mainly reflected in human health and safety. For example, the economic losses caused by drought have caused anxiety and concerns about water quality safety after the drought.


Water stress will also increase due to climate change and population growth. The prevention and resolution of drought problems have now become a global topic. Many important recommendations have been made to prevent and resolve droughts. Firstly, the government should make laws about water regulation to limit the water, people use for living and to control the waste of water. Secondly, the government should establish wastewater recycling centers, to achieve wastewater recycling and utilization. Thirdly, some countries with livestock should learn about high-efficiency irrigation techniques so that they can use water efficiently (Nagappan, 2016). Finally, the spread of environmental knowledge is very important for people to protect the environment. People need to receive training on environmental protection because environmental pollution is rapidly developing (Onder, 2006).


In conclusion, Drought is a natural disaster that cannot be prevented by human beings, but even before a hazard preparation is important which can make the negative effects of drought less. It is well known that water is one of the important elements of human beings’ ability to survive and the healthy functioning of the Earth’s ecosystem. With the rapid development of the economy and the growth of the population, human beings are increasingly demanding natural resources in order to expand their living space and improve their quality of life (Onder, 2006). Excessive use of natural resources can have many negative effects on humans and the planet and undermine human living environment and the Earth’s ecosystem. The ability to protect and conserve energy means the future of the planet (Botkin and Beveridge, 1997).


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