Drought is one of the a resultant effect of climate change and it is the naturally occurring phenomenon that exists when precipitation has been significantly below normal recorded levels, causing serious hydrological imbalances that adversely affect land resource production systems. Unlike many other natural hazards, drought develops slowly, making it difficult to pinpoint the onset and termination of an event.
The environmental impacts of hydrological drought are Reduced stream flow and loss of wetlands may cause changes in the levels of salinity. Increased groundwater depletion, land subsidence, and reduced recharge may damage aquifers and adversely affect the quality of water (e.g., salt concentration, increased water temperature, acidity, dissolved oxygen, turbidity). The degradation of landscape quality, including increased soil erosion, may lead to a more permanent loss of biological throughput of the landscape.
The Standardized Precipitation Index is a powerful and flexible index used in this study to evaluate the extent of hydrological drought in the north east. Precipitation is the only required input parameter.
Key Words: Climate Change, Drought, Hydrological Drought, Standardized Precipitation Index