A drought is a long, dry period when there is not enough water to meet people's needs. Droughts are extreme climatic events that can have long-lasting effects on people, plants and animals.
A drought can:
- affect national economy due to poor farming productivity
- increase the chance of bushfire and dust storms
- lead to poor water quality
- have long-term effects on agricultural industries
- disrupt cropping programs
- reduce breeding stock
- cause toxic algae outbreaks that threaten plant and animal health
- lead to serious environmental damage, including soil erosion and vegetation loss.
Droughts are part of life for rural Australians; they can occur anywhere at anytime. Primary producers should know how to prepare and cope with drought. It is important to be familiar with:
You can minimise the impacts of drought in your area by:
- using water wisely in the home and garden
- looking out for dripping taps and leaky pipes
- installing a rainwater tank
- having short showers
- following water restrictions.
Coping with stress
Despair and stress is common during and after droughts.
It is important to be aware and take action if you experience any of the following warning signs:
- abnormal behaviour
- mood swings
- trouble sleeping or getting to sleep
- loss of appetite
- isolation from friends and family
- poor concentration
- poor health
- feelings of hopelessness and being unable to see a future.