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DROUGHT INDICES
A drought index is determined based on historical hydrometeorological data. It is essentially a value which fluctuates within a specific range and gives information on the occurrence and intensity of drought in a region. A collection of drought indices aims to summarize the results of complex analyses of a large number of data in a few, easy to understand values which communicate essential information to water resources managers on what actions to take so as to timely and effectively address the impact of a drought of given severity, duration and areal extent. A predetermined collection of drought indices is in fact used as a tool for quantifying drought as well as a tool which facilitates early detection of the phenomenon of drought and assists in effectively managing and mitigating a drought’s adverse impacts. As such a tool, this set of drought indices forms an integral part of Drought Management Plans which map different values of drought indices to actions and measures to be taken for the effects of drought to be addressed and minimized (Diagram: Drought Indices Values V’s Actions & Measures).

The analysis and assessment of drought indices provide information:
    a) for early warning as well as information about the onset and the end of droughts
    b) the intensity, duration and geographic extent of the drought
    c) the impact on the wider natural environment
    d) the impact on rivers, lakes and groundwater bodies
    e) the pressures on water supply and irrigation systems
    f) the pressures on non-irrigated agriculture.

The following six (6) Drought Indices are used in Cyprus:
    1. The meteorological index SPI (Standardized Precipitation Index) which is calculated by the Cyprus Department of Meteorology. It should be noted that, as regards preventive and/or immediate actions to be taken to counteract the adverse effects of drought, this index is of limited usefulness because in the case of Cyprus the SPI is reliable only for 12-month periods i.e. complete hydrological years
    and 5 hydrological indices which are calculated by the Water Development Department:
    2. Wet season runoff index
    3. Hydrological year runoff index
    4. Monthly river runoff Index
    5. Dam storage index:
      a) Southern Conveyor Project
      b) Pafos Project
    6. Monitoring results of groundwater bodies (It should be noted that, as regards preventive and/or immediate actions to be taken to counteract the adverse effects of drought, this index is of limited usefulness because of the slow response of groundwater levels to rainfall and the fact that groundwater is constantly abstracted for irrigation and water supply)
For further information please contact the Division of Hydrology & Hydrogeology

HYDROLOGICAL DROUGHT INDICES (by the Water Development Department)
Hydrological Year 2013/2014
Hydrological Year 2014/2015

REPORTS
Hydrological Drought Indices (Modified Drought Management Plan) – posted in Greek
Drought Management Plan – posted in Greek








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