Drought is what happens when rainfall is lower than normal for a long time. Droughts can last a single season, a whole year, or for many years and can affect a few hundred or millions of square miles.
Drought affects communities differently depending on
- Who lives in the community, because some people are more affected by drought than others based on things like health conditions and age
- What kind of water system the community has
- What rules the community has about water use
- Other economic and social factors
Severe drought can also affect air quality by making wildfires and dust storms more likely. Smoke from wildfires and particle pollution from dust storms can make anyone sick, but some people are at higher risk.
- CDC Features – Drought
- Drought and Public Health in the U.S. – Infographic pdf icon[PDF – 1.70 MB]
- Extreme Rainfall and Drought pdf icon[PDF – 97.7 KB]
- Precipitation Extremes: Heavy Rainfall, Flooding, and Droughts
- Preparing for the Health Effects of Drought: A Resource Guide for Public Health Professionals pdf icon[PDF – 33.3 MB]
- National Drought Mitigation Centerexternal icon
- National Integrated Drought Information Systemexternal icon
- When Every Drop Counts: Protecting Public Health During Drought Conditions – A guide for Public Health Professionals