Drought is a normal, recurring feature of the climate in most parts of the world.
As a drought persists, the conditions surrounding it gradually worsen and its impact on the local population gradually increases. Droughts go through three stages before their ultimate cessation :
1. Meteorological drought is brought about when there is a prolonged period with less than average precipitation. Meteorological drought usually precedes the other kinds of drought.
2. Agricultural droughts are droughts that affect crop production or the ecology of the range. This condition can also arise independently from any change in precipitation levels when soil conditions and erosion triggered by poorly planned agricultural endeavors cause a shortfall in water available to the crops. However, in a traditional drought, it is caused by an extended period of below average precipitation.
3. Hydrological drought is brought about when the water reserves available in sources such as aquifers, lakes and reservoirs falls below the statistical average. Like an agricultural drought, this can be triggered by more than just a loss of rainfall. For instance, Kazakhstan was recently awarded a large amount of money by the World Bank to restore water that had been diverted to other nations from the Aral Sea under Soviet rule. Similar circumstances also place their largest lake, Balkhash, at risk of completely drying out.
Information That Caught our Interest
The state's water woes are going to get worse before they get better. That's the word from North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley Monday.
Easley addressed the North Carolina
League of Municipalities Monday afternoon in
The governor says all outdoor watering should immediately cease.
"North Carolina is facing a potential emergency just as severe as any eye storm or hurricanes that we usually face," Easley said. "This is an emergency where we can lessen the impact of but only, if we take the action necessary today and work together - you and me and all of our citizens in the state."
The governor is not yet declaring a state of emergency yet - but he worries the drought may lead to a full-blown water crisis in 2008.
State under Burning Ban
The lack of rain has also triggered a new statewide burning ban
The extreme drought has left brush tinder dry. One errant spark or smoldering ember could create disaster.
Brunswick County Fire Marshal Scott Garner says the drought makes fight the fires trickier too.
"Anythime we get a fire we have to be careful about the communities aroind it, and knowing that some of the water supplies of some of the places that we would pull it from, ponds and lakes maybe down, that could be a significant source of hazard that we may not be able to put the fire out," Garner said.
Again, the new burn ban covers the entire state.
And so the ideas were formed