Drought and Your Well being

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Drought is a pure phenomenon through which rainfall is decrease than common for an prolonged time frame. Intervals of drought can lead to insufficient water provide and might result in public well being issues. Take motion and learn the way drought can influence your well being and the well being of your loved ones.


Cycles of drought have affected North America for the final 10,000 years. Droughts can final from a single season to many a long time and might have an effect on from just a few hundred to tens of millions of sq. miles.

Drought can have an effect on areas or communities otherwise relying on a number of extra variables. These variables embrace:

  • the construction and capability of current water methods,
  • native governance of water use,
  • financial improvement,
  • the at-risk populations residing inside the affected space, and
  • different societal elements, such because the presence of native social networks.

Extreme drought situations can negatively have an effect on air high quality. Throughout drought, there’s an elevated danger for wildfires and mud storms. Particulate matter suspended within the air from these occasions can irritate the bronchial passages and lungs. This may make continual respiratory diseases worse and enhance the chance for respiratory infections like bronchitis and pneumonia.

For extra info on drought, see our infographic [1.69 MB], which affords an summary on these three principal questions: Why drought issues? How drought can have an effect on well being? What’s NCEH doing?

Public Well being Implications

The well being implications of drought are quite a few and much reaching. Some drought-related well being results are skilled within the short-term and might be immediately noticed and measured. Nonetheless, the gradual rise or continual nature of drought can lead to long term, oblique well being implications that aren’t at all times straightforward to anticipate or monitor.

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The attainable public well being implications of drought embrace:

  • compromised amount and high quality of ingesting water;
  • elevated leisure dangers;
  • results on air high quality;
  • diminished residing situations associated to power, air high quality, and sanitation and hygiene;
  • compromised meals and vitamin; and
  • elevated incidence of sickness and illness.

Extra Data

  • Drought and Well being
  • When Each Drop Counts: Defending Public Well being Throughout Drought Situations. A Information for Public Well being Professionals
  • Nationwide Built-in Drought Data System
  • Nationwide Drought Mitigation Heart

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