EU Science Hub

Drought risk management: Needs and experiences in Europe.

Abstract: 
Drought is a recurrent phenomenon across major areas of Europe and the globe. The European Union, therefore, requires up-to-date information on the occurrence, evolution and impacts of droughts in Europe and world-wide. This chapter demonstrates the development of information systems, which provide such information to decision makers at different levels of the European Union. They proved useful for raising the awareness of the drought problem and for steering pro-active as well as emergency measures in case of emerging droughts. The systems target efficient methods for monitoring and forecasting meteorological, agricultural, and hydrological droughts. As part of the European Drought Observatory (EDO), methods are benchmarked with national and sub-national information systems and sector specific high-level combined indicators, showing different alert levels for policy makers and water managers, are included. As part of the Global Drought Observatory (GDO), drought risk is assessed through the probability of harmful consequences or potential losses resulting from interactions between drought hazard, exposure, and vulnerability. This risk is expressed as the dynamic Likelihood of Drought Impact (LDI), which supports the drought risk management activities of the European Unions’ Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC).