The effects of drought ripple through economic sectors, communities, and ecosystems, leaving a variety of impacts in its wake. Understanding how drought affects you or your community or business is crucial, because then you can figure out why drought creates those effects, and what you may be able to do about them.

Current Impact Information

Many agencies and organizations compile data on how drought is currently affecting agriculture or natural resources, and make that data available online.

Effects of Past Droughts

Looking at the effects of recent droughts is an essential step in planning for future droughts.

Impacts in Planning

Impacts Checklist

Through its work with drought planners around the world, the NDMC has developed a checklist of drought's impacts. The checklist can help planners identify areas of vulnerability so that policy makers can target resources as effectively as possible.

How to Reduce Drought Risk

This planning guide goes beyond the impacts checklist and gets to the roots of risk and vulnerability.

Scholarly Work

Here are a few of the scholarly and professional studies that have been done on documenting the effects of drought for use in decision-making.

Drought Impact Reporter

The Drought Impact Reporter was launched in 2005 as the nation’s online archive of drought impacts. Based on media reports and volunteer observations, the DIR records losses or changes due to drought.

Drought Impact Reporter Collaboration Possibilities

Learn more about the Drought Impact Reporter, and consider whether it could help you establish a network of observers.