Climatic Hazards Revision

  • Created by: Théa
  • Created on: 11-06-13 14:48

CASE STUDY: Drought, Ethiopia

When: 2006

-Ethiopia, like other countries of the Sahel, suffers from desertification

-This was made even worse in 2006, when the failure of the summer rains that year caused widespread drought

-There was a drought from 1984-85 in Ethiopia, resulting in over a million people dying

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CASE STUDY: Drought, Ethiopia


Population = 77.7 million - families average 5.4 children

Climate - hot and humid in lowlands, cool in the highlands. Avergae daily temperatures = 28-30°C

Land use - 77% of the country's tree cover has been cut down in the past 25 years, due to demands in fuel and construction. These trees have been replaced by eucalyptus, which are soil-depleting

Employment - 85% of the population rely on farming for a living

Aid - Ethiopia gets the most relief aid and the least development aid of any poor country in the world

Health - In 2004, there were 2-3million HIV/AIDS sufferers. One million children had lost their parents to AIDS and more than 250,000 children under the age of five live with the disease 

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CASE STUDY: Drought, Ethiopia

-The short rains in February and the long rains in June failed to supply enough water for the country's needs

-Pasture and water supplies dry up, meaning people begin to migrate in search of water

-Animals, particularly cattle died due to little food and water, so farmers lost their livestock

-Ehtiopia already receives aid, however the drought meant that the normal amount of food aid in particular, was not enough

-There were also increasing fears of an outbreak of cholera, due to a huge number of animal carcasses in the Awash River, which is a main water source. Plus, people were already weak and therefore more vulnerable to diseases

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CASE STUDY: Drought, Ethiopia

Impacts of the drought:


-Decreased agricultural productivity, both arable and pastoral - Reduced income for farmers; increased price of food; losses of secondary industries which rely on produce


-Soil erosion - Long term lowering of agricultural yield


-Food shortage

-Increased health risk, including death - Conflicts between water users; lower quality of life

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CASE STUDY: Drought, Australia

When: 2005-2006

What caused the drought?

-Australia's droughts are oftened caused by a meteorological event called El Niño. 

-A reversal of the El Niño effect can cause Trade Winds to be weaker, resulting in drought conditions

Where did it occur?

-Usually, in Australia the most severe droughts occur in the majority of the country, apart from the north-east, east and south-east coasts

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CASE STUDY: Drought, Australia


-Crops failed, resulting in a loss of income for farmers

-Many cattle and sheep died of starvation or of thirst, or had to be shot as they were suffering too much

-Farmer sold their land and moved to the towns to find other work

-Severe loss of vegetation due to the drought, resulting in soil erosion

-Farmers had to borrow large amounts of money to buy feed for their animals

-There were several large bushfires and dust storms

-Water quality declined as water stores ran out, leading to the formation of toxic algae

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CASE STUDY: Drought, Australia

Issues people in Australia face due to drought:

-Parts of river, such as the Murray River, dry up

-Vegetation was dying

-Wildlife was scarce

-Water became expensive

-Farming became difficult

-People had debt, after having to borrow money to buy expensive water

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CASE STUDY: Drought, Australia

Water Conservation Measures:

The Australian Governement has attempted to solve the water shortage problem by passing laws to control water usage during droughts

Some regulations include:

-Not cleaning hard surfaces

-Not watering lawns

-Now filling up pools

-Not watering plants or washing cars, gutters, etc unless it is within the time and day a house is permitted to do so

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CASE STUDY: Drought, Australia

Future Water Sources for Australia:

Desalination in South-East Queensland:

-Desalination is a process that removes dissolved salts and other impurities from sea water or brackish water, to create high quality drinking water

-The draft strategy outlines that by 2056, desalination and purified recycled water could provide up to 30% of Queensland's water supply

Making rain in Queensland:

-'Cloud-seeding' is where particles of silver iodide or dry ice are injected into clouds, to provide nuclei around which ice crystals or water droplets can condense, eventually falling to the ground as rain

-It does not work with all types of cloud, but the hope is that it may increase rainfall enough to provide the region with more water

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