Drought severely impacts societies and ecosystems around the world. We are working in different areas around the world to increase drought preparedness, for example by improving drought monitoring in Chile and by creating future drought narratives in South Africa. In South Africa, we are combining local stories about past drought events with modelling of future drought to create a virtual experience of coping with future lack of water in the region (in the CreativeDrought project).

In our human-modified era, the Anthropocene, hydrological drought is not only caused by natural processes (such as precipitation deficit), human influences should be included as additional driver. Our research focuses on the complex feedbacks between hydrological drought and human activities such as reservoir building, groundwater abstraction, and land use change. We are using data-based methods in case studies around the world to quantify the relative importance of these influences. This research is important in helping to improve our understanding of our impacts, can be used to improve global hydrological models and can help shape water resource management.

This research is done by Sally Rangecroft & Mel Rohse.

Project information & updates:

Featured publications:

  • Van Loon et al. (2016a) – Drought in the Anthropocene – Nature Geoscience
  • Van Loon et al. (2016b) – Drought in a human-modified world: reframing drought definitions, understanding, and analysis approaches – Hydrology and Earth System Sciences
  • Rangecroft et al. (2016) – Multi-method assessment of reservoir effects on hydrological droughts in an arid region – Earth System Dynamics

International network: