Defining Drought

If it happens every year, is it a drought?

Severe drought and prolonged water shortages have hit the hamlet and the surrounding area with such a regularity that the villagers, like Sarikuma, have almost lost hope of finding an effective solution to the problem.

“The dry season always brings a drought, which in turn leads to a water shortage. It is a regular cycle for us,” said the head of Munti Gunung hamlet, Ketut Karya.

It’s worth remembering Kelly Redmond’s definition of drought, which encompasses both climatological variability and the way human systems respond. From the August 2002 BAMS: “insufficient water to meet needs.” Facing a drought situation in an entirely predictable annual drought situation is clearly a human failure, not a climatological one, but whatever you call it, these people don’t have enough water.