The global drought in 2016 and its effects.


Juan G. R., Juan G. R., Juan P. J. A. The global drought in 2016 and its effects.

Water and Irrigation Vol .: 8, No. 1: 3-4, March 2017, Spain.

2016 has been characterized by a year of great climatic instability with a high development of droughts and floods as a result of climate change. The drought has affected many countries worldwide, but the countries of the Horn of Africa and the semi-arid strip of the Sahel, India, China, Bolivia, Mexico, Chile, the countries of the Central Corridor Dry: Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Caribbean countries: Haiti, Dominican Republic, Cuba causing great crop losses, displacement and a major food crisis. There is famine in Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya that demand humanitarian aid. About 1200 million people live in areas of low rainfall and water scarcity.

The average temperature of the planet has been increasing continuously, which has contributed to the melting of the poles and a great climatic instability that affects the high development of droughts and floods, continues to manifest itself during the first quarter of 2017.

During the rainy and drought periods in the USA in 2016, drought continued in the State of California and also occurred in the states of Oklahoma and Georgia, drought conditions have now declined in California due to heavy rains in that State in February, which caused major floods, landslides and thousands of evacuees, but the drought still persists in the states of Oklahoma, Alabama and Georgia.

Mexico also suffers drought, which together with the degradation of soils due to overgrazing, further intensifies the effects of this.

In Central America, the Dry Corridor has had the worst drought in recent years with large crop losses, with Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras being the most affected countries, leaving more than 4 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.

The Caribbean region has also been hit by the drought affecting more than 1 million Cubans and 5 million people in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, causing a major food crisis.

Bolivia President Evo Morales declared in 2016 a national emergency due to water shortages, drought affected more than 300,000 hectares of cultivation. In Ecuador at the end of 2016, there were more than 6 provinces affected by water scarcity.

The drought is manifested in Africa in the countries that are within the Sahel belt and with greater intensity in the countries of the Horn of Africa, affects millions of Ethiopians, drought in Somalia together with the problems of war and have provoked more than 260000 displaced persons. There is famine in Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya that has caused a major food crisis. Drought threatens to spread to other African countries.
In India in June 2016, nearly 330 million people were affected by the worst drought in decades and damaging hundreds of thousands of farmers. The causes are diverse: the absence of the Monsoon, the waste of water and poorly planned agriculture. The onset of the monsoon period was delayed and later the floods in July and August caused great human and economic losses.

During 2016 the drought in China has caused about 1150 deaths and is the highest number of deaths per country in the year, millions of people have been affected, many small rivers have dried up and water shortages are already increasing because there is a great demand for water. Many surface and groundwater sources are contaminated by discharges from industry, mining, commerce, and sewage generated by the world’s largest population. The Chinese government is making strenuous efforts to address water scarcity and pollution, according to Chinese sources.

In Spain 2016 has been a year of great climatic instability with droughts and floods that coexisted in different regions of the country, the year began with characteristics of dry year and ended wet. Currently during the winter of 2017, the climatic instability continues because there have been floods in some regions and dry periods in others, although the drought predominates since the water reservoir of the Spanish reservoirs is at 32463 hm3 which represents only 58% of the capacity stored and is 10% lower than for the same period in 2016.

Over the last 25 years, water scarcity has increased with increasing world population, human activity and climate change according to the UN. At the 2016 Water Forum it is reported that according to the UN, water scarcity will affect around 3 billion people globally by 2025. Around 1200 million people are currently living in areas of low rainfall and water scarcity.

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