Linking drought indices to impacts in the Liaoning Province of China

Ma, Miaomiao; Lv, Juan; Su, Zhicheng; Hannaford, Jamie; Sun, Hongquan; Qu, Yanping; Xing, Zikang; Barker, Lucy; Wang, Yaxu

Drought is an inherent meteorological characteristic of any given region, but is particularly important in China due to its monsoon climate and the “three ladder” landform system. The Chinese government has constructed large-scale water conservation projects since 1949, and developed drought and water scarcity relief frameworks. However, drought still causes huge impacts on water supply, environment and agriculture. China has, therefore, created specialized agencies for drought management called Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters, which include four different levels: state, provincial, municipal and county. The impact datasets they collect provide an effective resource for drought vulnerability assessment, and provide validation options for hydro-meteorological indices used in risk assessment and drought monitoring. In this study, we use the statistical drought impact data collected by the Liaoning province Drought Relief Headquarter and meteorological drought indices (Standardized Precipitation Index, SPI and Standard Precipitation Evaporation Index, SPEI) to explore a potential relationship between drought impacts and these indices. The results show that SPI-24 and SPEI-24 are highly correlated to the populations that have difficulties in obtaining drinking water in four out of the six cities studied. Three impacts related to reservoirs and the availability of drinking water for humans and livestock exhibit strong correlations with SPI and SPEI of different accumulated periods. Results reveal that meteorological indices used for drought monitoring and early warning in China can be effectively linked to drought impacts. Further work is exploring how this information can be used to optimize drought monitoring and risk assessment in the whole Liaoning province and elsewhere in China.

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Ma, Miaomiao / Lv, Juan / Su, Zhicheng / et al: Linking drought indices to impacts in the Liaoning Province of China. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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