Drought Impact Reports



Please take a moment to view the "Drought Impacts Reporting Guide"
below and then go ahead and submit an "Impact Report" on-line.

View Drought Impact Reports

View our short guide on Reporting Drought Impacts by
clicking on the icon below:

           HTML Slideshow                  Downloadable PDF

To find out more about drought and view the latest
"Drought Impact Reporter" click on the logo below:

An additional resource on Drought

CoCoRaHS Drought Impact Reports "Messages of the Day"

As we continue our introduction of "Drought Impacts" we will visit various areas where drought might have significant impacts on your community.

An obvious one is the area of Agriculture.  The lack of precipitation can result in many effects which are associated with agriculture, farming, aquaculture, horticulture, forestry and ranching.

Examples of drought-induced agricultural impacts include: damage to crop quality; income loss for farmers due to reduced crop yields; reduced productivity of cropland; insect infestation; plant disease; increased irrigation costs; cost of new or supplemental water resource development (wells, dams, pipelines); reduced productivity of rangeland; forced reduction of foundation stock; closure/limitation of public lands to grazing; and high cost/unavailability of water for livestock, Christmas tree farms, forestry, raising domesticated horses, bees, fish/shellfish and horticulture.

Business and Industry
An often overlooked area affected by drought is Business & Industry.  The lack of precipitation can result in drought effects affecting non-ag businesses, lawn care businesses, sales of recreational vehicles/other recreational gear or plant nurseries. 

Examples of drought-induced business impacts could include: reduction/loss of employees, change in sales/business, variation in number of calls for service, early closure/late opening for the season, bankruptcy, permanent store closure and economic impacts.

Another area impacted by drought is Energy.  The lack of precipitation can result in effects which are associated with power production, electricity rates, energy revenue, and purchase of alternate sources of energy.  

Examples of drought-induced energy impacts include: hydropower and non-hydropower production when affected by drought, electricity rates, revenue shortfalls and/or windfall profits and the purchase of electricity when hydropower generation is down.

Another obvious impact area is Fire.  The lack of precipitation can result in effects contributing to forest, range, rural, or urban fires, fire danger, and burning restrictions. 

Examples of fire impacts include: Enactment/easing of burning restrictions, fireworks ban, increased fire risk, occurrence of fire (# of acres burned, # of wildfires compared to average, people displaced, etc.), increase in fire fighting personnel, state of emergency during periods of high fire danger and the closure of roads land due to fire occurrence or risk.

Plants and Wildlife
Another area were we can feel the impacts of drought are those associated with plants and wildlife.  These effects are associated with unmanaged plants and wildlife, fisheries, forests and other fauna.

Examples of drought-induced environment impacts include: loss of biodiversity of plants or wildlife; loss of trees from rural or urban landscapes, shelterbelts, wooded conservation areas; reduction and degradation of fish and wildlife habitat; lack of feed and drinking water; greater mortality due to increased contact with agricultural producers, as animals seek food from farms and producers are less tolerant of the intrusion; disease; increased vulnerability to predation (from species concentrated near water); migration and concentration (loss of wildlife in some areas and too many wildlife in other areas); increased stress to endangered species; and salinity levels affecting wildlife, wildlife encroaching into urban areas, loss of wetlands.

Tourism and Recreation
Another area where we notice the impacts of drought is tourism and recreational activities.  

Examples of drought-induced tourism and recreation impacts include: water access or navigation problems for recreation; bans on recreational activities; reduced license, permit, or ticket sales (e.g. hunting, fishing, ski lifts, etc.); losses related to curtailed activities (e.g. bird watching, hunting and fishing, boating, etc.); reduced park visitation; delayed opening for ski resorts; increase in artificial snow generation; and cancellation or postponement of sporting events/tournaments.


Relief Response
There are also drought effects associated with disaster declarations, aid programs, requests for disaster declaration or aid, water restrictions and fire restrictions.

Impacts include: Disaster declarations, aid programs, USDA Secretarial disaster declarations, SBA disaster declarations, government relief and response programs, state-level declarations or “state of emergency”, county-level declaration or “state of emergency”, requests for declarations or aid, non-profit organization based relief, water restrictions, fire restrictions and declaration of drought watches/warnings.


Society and Public Health
Drought can have effects associated with the society and public health

Examples of drought-induced social impacts include: health-related low-flow problems, loss of human life (e.g., from heat stress, suicides); increased respiratory ailments; increased disease caused by wildlife concentrations; population migrations (rural to urban areas, migrants into the United States); loss of aesthetic values; change in daily activities (non-recreational, like putting a bucket in the shower to catch water), elevated stress levels, meetings to discuss drought, communities creating drought plans, lawmakers altering penalties for violation of water restrictions, demand for higher water rates, cultural/historical discoveries from low water levels, prayer meetings, cancellation of fundraising events, cancellation/alteration of festivals or holiday traditions, stockpiling water, public service announcements and drought info websites, protests.


Water Supply and Water Quality
The effects of drought have significant impacts on our water supply and water quality.  

Examples of drought-induced water supply and quality impacts include: Dry wells, water restrictions, changes in water rates, easing of water restrictions, increase in requests for new well permits, changes in water use in water use due to water restrictions, greater water demand, decrease in water allocation/allotments, installation/alteration of water pumps or water intakes, changes to allowable water contaminants, water line damage/repairs due to drought stress, drinking water turbidity, change in water color or odor, declaration of drought watches/warnings and mitigation activities.