Drought is a complex problem. The Solution depends on the pertinent information availability and the adopted decision models and criteria. Drought- A natural shortfall of precipitation and water resources to levels that do not meet the uses established for normal conditions. Drought-An abnormal shortage of water or moisture and the problems of drought management are actually problems of water management.
Types Of Droughts
Hydro-logical drought – extreme low flows of streams and declining groundwater levels, but does not severely impact the production of crops.
Agricultural drought – when soil moisture is insufficient to meet the needs of a particular crop during its growing season.
Socioeconomic drought-when the demand for goods or services exceeds the available supply as a result of precipitation conditions.
Limits on withdrawals by community water systems due to sensitive aquatic habitats
Restrictions on the locking of barges;
Modification to the amounts of water released from reservoirs;
Bans on illegal water withdrawals by golf courses above municipal water intakes;
Additional water treatment to control taste and odour caused by aquatic plant growth;
Water use restrictions banning lawn watering and other outside uses by approximately 30 community water systems;
Extension of public water mains and lines to unserved areas
Water Resources Management Planning
The traditional Approach
Monitoring the available water resources (reservoirs, rivers, precipitation)
Deciding drought onset (based essentially on a threshold of available water resources and precipitation during the growing season)
Preparing a relief program and identifying funds (rapid preparation of activities on ad hoc basis. The sources of funds are generally external relief aid, loans and regular budgets channeled to relief while stopping normative development programs.)
Implementing the program (often by a super Department such as that of Interior or Civil Protection). (Forgetting about the whole thing upon return to normal)
Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM Plan)
Planning of infrastructure is done in a way that includes periods of consultation and review by relevant stakeholders.
Water councils include different water interest groups e.g. agricultural, pastoral, domestic and private sector users
Representative and inclusive:
The councils include state government and traditional leadership and non-state actors, such as civil society, including women’s groups and academics.
Specialists such as engineers, hydrologists and hydrogeologists discuss water related issues with non-specialist water stakeholders and are able to both inform and listen to the concerns of the different interest groups.
Computation of Demand-supply Gap
For this we have to compute water resources availability and water supply requirement.
Computation of Water resources availability * Net Surface water available in the area * Net Ground water available in the area * Total water available 2. Computation of Water Demand
IWRM will require that wastewater discharges and releases from reservoirs be controlled to minimize risks to public health and the environment in times of drought. Alternative reservoir operating guides might be established based on various drought-related triggering conditions. Permits might be issued based on drought vulnerability whereby operations might be interruptible and /or additional treatment required.
Provide Guidance on Community Water Systems’ Drought Management Plans
TDEC has developed a guidance document on the necessary elements of a drought management plan for community water systems. The purpose of the guide is to promote and increase preparedness so that a drought’s adverse impacts would be mitigated. The guidance includes suggested drought management planning steps. TDEC will review each system’s drought management plan, prioritizing those that have experienced drought issues in the past.
In this plan, IWRM approaches drought as a period of more intensive water management dealing with the supply and demand of water. We recognize that needs and responses to drought will vary across the state.
Drought affects users differently due to the users’ dependence on water, the source involved, the type of drought, the impacted area, storage development and many other factors.
Therefore, solutions to these many situations will, and must, vary.
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