Working Group: Drought in the Anthropocene
Chair: Anne Van Loon

In this human-influenced era, we need to rethink the concept of drought to include the human role in mitigating and enhancing drought. One major challenge is the quantification of impacts of drought on society, i.e. finding the relation between physical drought characteristics and wildfires, crop yields, electricity production, navigation, etc. This is a basic prerequisite for the prediction of changes in risk and vulnerability in the future. The aim of the working group is to investigate and quantify the interactions between drought and people.
For more background information on this topic, please find our Drought in the Anthropocene paper in Nature Geoscience or browse in the Panta Rhei Library for related papers.

Activities of the working group:
We are setting up a number of experiments with the aim to study the influence of people on drought, the impact of drought on people and the feedbacks between drought and society. Our overarching goal is to increase understanding of drought-society feedbacks, both positive and negative. The research questions we want to answer are:
A: How are people enhancing/alleviating drought events?
B: How are people impacted by drought events?
C: How are people responding to drought events by changing water use, land use, water management, water storage?
D: How do these feedback processes result in aggravated (or alleviated) drought conditions and more (or less) impacts? 
E: How human activities can exacerbate or alleviate societal impacts of droughts?

Ongoing collaborative projects:
Here are a few initiatives that are open for contributions:
  1. 2018 Europe drought paper
    Paper on drought impacts, responses and perceptions of 2018-2019 drought.
    Led by Veit Blauhut 
  2. Paired-event paper
    A collaboration of paired flood and paired drought cases
    Led by Heidi Kreibich
  3. Review paper on flood & drought risk management
    A collaboration of Panta Rhei Flood and Drought working groups
    Led by Philip Ward
  4. Paper on quantifying the human influence on streamflow drought in case studies around the world
    Led by Anne Van Loon
  5. Modelling of Drought management policies
    Led by Doris Wendt
Our newest project proposals targeted at students are found here:
Student Projects

Visual representation of Drought in the Anthropocene by Van Loon, et al. (2016)

Join the working group at AGU 2020
or in our upcoming online AGU splinter meeting 
Contact Anne Van Loon

Read the output of our group:

Follow the working group on Twitter:

Previous meetings:
4          May 2020 EGU online
11        Dec 2019 AGU San Francisco, USA
29-31   Oct 2019 Annual workshop Tempe, USA
4-9      Aug 2019 Writing retreat Buxton, UK
10        July 2019 IUGG Montreal, Canada
12        April 2019 EGU Vienna, AT
13        Dec 2018 AGU Washington DC, USA
10-12   Oct 2018 Annual meeting Utrecht, NL
12        April 2018 EGU Vienna, AT
8-12     Oct 2017  Annual meeting Freiburg, DE
27        April 2017 EGU Vienna, AT
15        Dec 2016 AGU San Francisco, USA
19-21   Sept 2016 Annual meeting Birmingham, UK
20        April 2016 EGU Vienna, AT

Notes of previous meetings available via Anne Van Loon