6 Causes of Drought and The Impacts on Life
17 February 2023
Drought is a condition in which an area, land, or community experiences a water shortage, making it unable to meet its needs. The drought causes in each region will differ, but natural factors usually influence the characteristics.
The lack of water will result in reduced water reserves. Abundant water today does not mean it will not run out in the future, given the unstable climate due to global warming. Drought conditions can also be a cause of drought in your environment.
An unstable climate usually affects rainfall. For example, you can check the result in an area not receiving enough rain. The water content in the soil decreases or even disappears. To get a clearer understanding of what causes drought, let's look at it in more detail.
What Causes Drought?
A natural phenomenon of climate deviation referred to as drought occurs over a certain period. This condition can also happen if the rainfall is below average. There are at least six causes of shortage that are commonly occurring. Here is an explanation of each reason.
1. Geographical Location
Indonesia is geographically located on the monsoon line and experiences extreme climate changes caused by changes in air pressure from the mainland. These changes result in the jet stream effect from the ocean, bringing hot air to the continent. The hot air and wind cause many areas that initially had a lot of water to become dry, making an area experience drought, especially when the dry season arrives.
2. Limited Catchment Areas
Green areas, now used as residential buildings, affect the water reserve conditions in the soil. When the earth has to absorb rainwater, it is covered with concrete, causing the water not to penetrate the ground—the more limited water reserves on the planet, the more negative impact of drought disasters.
3. Low Rainfall
One of the common causes of drought in Indonesia is climate change, which makes rain rare. Low levels of water vapor and cloud production cause low rainfall. The dry season will last longer if the rain is very little. As a result, a drought disaster will hit.
4. Wasteful Water Usage
Excessive groundwater usage also has an impact on drought in some areas. The effects will be worse when the dry season arrives. Using water for household purposes usually causes this extreme water usage. If this continues, the water reserves in the soil will continue to decrease, causing more severe drought disasters.
Cutting down forests can also lead to drought, as the soil that was once protected by trees is then exposed to direct sunlight and wind. As a result, the earth will become dry and cause water to evaporate quickly. Again, you can check the result of drought conditions in the surrounding areas.
6. Climate Change
The most significant cause of drought is climate change. This condition can cause changes in temperature and precipitation patterns, resulting in changes in water availability. As a result, climate change can increase the frequency and severity of droughts in some regions.
The Impacts of Drought on Life
It's essential to know the effects of the cause of drought on life. One common effect is the reduction of clean water sources. In this case, water for daily needs becomes challenging to find. Below, we will discuss other impacts of drought on life.
1. Decrease in Clean Water Sources
If clean water sources decrease, the result will be a decrease in drinking water. If this happens, people will have the risk of dehydration. A dehydrated body condition is dangerous if left unchecked. Not only experienced by humans, animals, and plants will also experience a shortage of body fluids.
2. Plant and Animal Death
Plants and animals are the sources of life for humans. If a drought occurs, plants will wither and die. Plants are an essential part of the oxygen cycle and are a source of food for humans and animals. If plants die, the food source for animals and humans will decrease and cause hunger, even the threat of death.
3. Starvation Disaster
Prolonged drought will cause some industries, such as agriculture, plantations, and livestock, to experience crop failures. Food reserves for humans also become scarce.
4. Dirty Environment
You can use water to clean up the dirt around your house. For example, to mop the floor, clean animals, wash clothes, and so on. However, there will only be a water source to clean up the environment if a drought occurs. The surrounding environment becomes dirty.
5. Disease Outbreaks
Disease seeds can emerge during a drought according to the lack of hygiene of the body and environment, which is unmaintained due to the lack of water. Commonly emerging diseases include itching, fungi, and other skin diseases.
6. Pest Attacks
Pests will emerge when a prolonged drought occurs. Insects emerge because the food chain is disturbed. So, insects will come out of their nests to find food sources to survive.
7. Increased Pollution
If plants die, air pollution can increase. The reason is that no plants function to process carbon dioxide into oxygen for human life. Therefore, it is essential to prevent prolonged drought from happening to avoid an increase in pollution.
To minimize the negative impact causes of drought, you can take some steps as a solution. You are starting with reforestation and greening, building dams, and saving water. Reforestation and greening mean different things, but both have the commonality of planting trees to improve the environment so that the soil can store water optimally.
Water usage according to needs must also be made into a habit, as it has a vital role in life. In addition, you can make dams to store water reserves for daily needs.
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