Drought Impacts in the United States
In July 2005, the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) took the first steps toward developing a potentially comprehensive drought impact database, the Drought Impact Reporter (DIR). The DIR is an interactive web-based tool designed to compile and display impact information from a variety of sources across the U.S. in near real-time. The information provided by the Drought Impact Reporter will help U.S. policy makers and resource managers identify what types of impacts are occurring and where. It can also help individual agricultural producers amass evidence of drought conditions. The NDMC is in the process of implementing a more advanced version of the tool, DIR 2.0.
Images in the Photo Gallery come from volunteers who have generously made their work available. Please be sure to provide appropriate credit to the photographer and to the National Drought Mitigation Center’s Photo Gallery if you use a photo.
As of June 2008, the nation’s 122 Weather Forecast Offices began producing Drought Information Statements, including information about impacts, whenever any part of their service area was in severe drought (D2) on the U.S. Drought Monitor.
The Dust Bowl, the drought of the 1930s in the Great Plains of the United States, is perhaps one of the best-known and best-documented droughts in U.S. history. It altered the course of history and eventually prompted revisions of land management practices and agricultural policy, including the formation of what was then the Soil Conservation Service, now the Natural Resources Conservation Service.