Q:

What are some facts you need to know about droughts?

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Quick Answer

One important fact about droughts is that they increase the risk of wildfires. Low moisture and lack of precipitation can create hazardous conditions in forests and range lands that may create wildfires capable of causing property damage, injury or death. Another important fact about droughts is that they may be responsible for the migration and relocation of both human and wildlife populations.

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Full Answer

Drought are natural disasters that may result in water shortage that can damage crops, harm wildlife and natural ecosystems, and increase the death rate of livestock. Droughts can also destroy communities that rely on nearby lakes and rivers to provide revenue through agriculture or tourism. Prolonged droughts can significantly affect crop production and lead to famine. Severe or long-term drought may cause social unrest, trigger wars or increase the spread of certain types of diseases.

Droughts are characterized into four different types. Hydrological droughts impact the river systems and water reservoirs needed to produce hydroelectric power, while atmospheric conditions that lead to prolonged dry spells create meteorological droughts. Agricultural droughts are the result of rainfall shortages that reduce soil moisture to the point of negatively impacting crop production. Socioeconomic droughts occur when water usage and demand exceeds supply.

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