Coordinating the UN's work on water and sanitation

Drought relief for farmers using real-time data

Over one billion people in South Asia depend on agriculture-related livelihoods – most of them poor and vulnerable to drought impacts.
Satellite data combined with ground measurements has recently been used to assess and mitigate drought damage to crops in the area. A system provided an index that integrates rainfall data with data on vegetation, soil moisture and temperature. Every eight days, the system publishes drought bulletins with detailed maps showing drought severity across Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

On village level, the data helped implement real-time contingency planning measures, including attaining drought-tolerant seed varieties, supplementary irrigation, rainwater harvesting and spraying of potassium nitrate to relieve drought stress.

 

Learn more about the system here, that is produced and maintained by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) as part of the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE) research theme on variability, risks and competing uses.