Knowledge for Development

Managing drought risk in a changing climate: The role of national drought policy


Date: 13/05/2014


In this open-access article in Weather and Climate Extremes, Donald A. Wilhite, at the School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska, USA, and colleagues address the growing worldwide concern about the ineffectiveness of current drought management practices. Most in-country policy and practices related to drought management are based on the principles of crisis management, resulting in the ‘reactive’ treatment of the ‘symptoms’ of drought. The authors argue that a comprehensive drought management plan must address the causes for the vulnerabilities associated with this type of extreme climatic event. They further show that through the adoption of national drought policies that are focused on risk reduction and complemented by drought mitigation or preparedness plans at various levels of government, the coping capacity of nations to manage droughts can be improved. In their paper they discuss the underlying concepts of drought, the principles and objectives of national drought policies and a drought planning process that has been effective in the preparation of drought mitigation plans.   

(Weather and Climate Extreme, 18/03/2014)