Where Do Droughts Occur in the World?

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Because they are caused by a reduction in the normal amount of rainfall a region receives, droughts can occur anywhere on the planet. For example, some parts of the Amazon River basin were struck by drought in 2005. However, some places are more susceptible to droughts than others, such as California, the southeastern United States, sub-Saharan Africa, and Australia.

Sometimes, excessive rain in one region can be tied to inadequate rain in others. The southeastern United States is undergoing a significant drought. However, Texas is simultaneously experiencing one of the wettest periods on record. If these areas receiving abundant rainfall have rivers that flow through the drought-stricken region, it may help ameliorate some of the negative effects those living in the drought-stricken region are experiencing.

Droughts profoundly affect the plants, animals, and humans living in a region. In addition to making it hard to find water, droughts cause humans and animals to have trouble surviving because many of the local plants die, which reduces the amount of food available. Farmers are hit especially hard by droughts, and they may lose their crops if the drought is severe. These challenges take their toll on the economy of drought-stricken regions, further exacerbating the problem.