NDMA Guidelines on Drought Management

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Drought in India

Drought is termed as any lack of water to satisfy the normal needs of agriculture, livestock, industry or human population. It is shaded in red/yellow on the given maps.

The main types of drought are as follows:

  1. Meteorological Drought: Reduction in rainfall for a specific period below a specific amount.
  2. Hydrological Drought: Drying up of water sources – both surface and groundwater (together or individually)
  3. Soil Moisture Drought: Unavailability of adequate moisture to support the standing crop.
  4. Ecological Drought: Productivity of a natural eco-system falls significantly as a consequence of distress induced environmental damage.

In India, since 60% of the agriculture is still rainfed, meteorological drought is an important cause of drought conditions. Thus, any deficit in monsoon rains is felt to a large extent especially in areas that have large rain variability – leeward side of Western Ghats (Marathwada and Vidarbha) and North-west extremities of the country.

National Disaster Management Guidelines on Management of Drought


The NDMA guidelines on management of drought are issued in 2010. The recommendations are as follows:

  1. Creation of Drought Monitoring Cells (DMCs) cells at state level with requisite staff.
  2. Preparation of vulnerability maps for each state by the State DMCs.
  3. Development of real-time drought related information by using information and communication technology.
  4. The watershed development approach would be taken up for drought management.
  5. Integration of ground-based information with the space-based information for comprehensive reporting.
  6. Assessment of damage would include agricultural production, depletion of water resources, livestock population, land degradation and deforestation as well as human health.
  7. Revamping of Drought Management Information System of Department of Agriculture.
  8. To enable micro level analysis and forecasting, automatic weather station and rain-gauges to be put in place.
  9. Development of drought resistant crop varieties through large scale research.
  10. The mitigation measures to be taken would include cloud-seeding and conduct of pilot studies in all categories of drought prone areas for suggesting long term mitigation measures.
  11. Formulation of a cloud seeding policy.
  12. Promoting crop diversification through sprinklers/Drip irrigation systems (micro irrigation techniques).
  13. Prompt provision of credit in the drought affected areas; and extension of marketing and price support.
  14. Afforestation with subabul, seemaruba, casurina, eucalyptus and bio diesel plantation like Jatropha and pongomia.
  15. Development of insurance products for different agro-climatic zones providing coverage against drought. Crop insurance to be extended to post-harvest losses. Promotion of price linked insurance products to avoid distress sales of farm produce. Use of satellite derived crop condition images as surrogates to crop yield estimates for settling insurance claims.
  16. Framing a realistic national training and capacity building programme for drought management. Officers at PRIs and ULBs to be provided with required training.
  17. Encouraging NGOs, PRIs and ULBs for generating awareness among farmers.
  18. Updating the syllabi of graduate and under-graduate courses in agriculture to include drought management.
  19. Fodder, Cattle feed and mineral mixture to be supplied to all productive animals to prevent distress sales of cattle.
  20. Wherever necessary and feasible, the corporate sector should also be involved in supporting drought risk management efforts as part of CSR

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