WIT Press

Growing Vulnerability Of The Arid Zones To Drought And Its Impacts


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I. Velasco


Although drought and aridity are two subtly different natural phenomena, they are not unrelated, and when they happen simultaneously, the implications can be disastrous. Partly because of the natural climatic march, and partly as a consequence of the human activities, the deserts are increasing and droughts are becoming more persistent and recurrent. The variability and environmental changes are factors that trigger the combination desertification-drought as a vicious circle that leads to potential crisis conditions because of the severe impact on society and its activities. Given the complexity of both phenomena, and their great coverage and slow but relentless development, it is very difficult to confront them with success, and then neither to avoid them, but we must make, as society members, our best efforts to formulate strategies and improve planning in order to confront its occurrence and to mitigate its impacts. Nevertheless, the structural (engineering) aspect is decisive for this goal, the non-structural phase is probably of greater importance, and it is directly related with the social participation as a group, beyond the official institutions and government dependences; after all, we are all water users, and then we are all indebted to contribute and to participate in the actions that allow us to overcome these risk conditions in order to avoid expensive crises and catastrophes which injure the humankind. Keywords: drought, desertification, environment deterioration, water stress.


drought, desertification, environment deterioration, water stress.