Drought risk for agricultural systems in South Africa: drivers, spatial patterns, and implications for drought risk management

Meza, Isabel, Eyshi Rezaei, Ehsan, Siebert, Stefan, Ghazaryan, Gohar, Nouri, Hamideh, Dubovyk, Olena, Gerdener, Helena, Herbert, Claudia, Kusche, Juergen, Popat, Eklavyya, Rhyner, Jakob, Jordaan, Andries, Walz, Yvonne and Hagenlocher, Michael, (2021). Drought risk for agricultural systems in South Africa: drivers, spatial patterns, and implications for drought risk management. Science of the Total Environment, 799 n/a-n/a

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  • Sub-type Journal article
    Author Meza, Isabel
    Eyshi Rezaei, Ehsan
    Siebert, Stefan
    Ghazaryan, Gohar
    Nouri, Hamideh
    Dubovyk, Olena
    Gerdener, Helena
    Herbert, Claudia
    Kusche, Juergen
    Popat, Eklavyya
    Rhyner, Jakob
    Jordaan, Andries
    Walz, Yvonne
    Hagenlocher, Michael
    Title Drought risk for agricultural systems in South Africa: drivers, spatial patterns, and implications for drought risk management
    Appearing in Science of the Total Environment
    Volume 799
    Publication Date 2021-08
    Place of Publication Amsterdam
    Publisher Elsevier B.V.
    Start page n/a
    End page n/a
    Language eng
    Abstract The regular drought episodes in South Africa highlight the need to reduce drought risk by both policy and local community actions. Environmental and socioeconomic factors in South Africa's agricultural system have been affected by drought in the past, creating cascading pressures on the nation's agro-economic and water supply systems. Therefore, understanding the key drivers of all risk components through a comprehensive risk assessment must be undertaken in order to inform proactive drought risk management. This paper presents, for the first time, a national drought risk assessment for irrigated and rainfed systems, that takes into account the complex inter-action between different risk components. We use modeling and remote sensing approaches and involve national experts in selecting vulnerability indicators and providing information on human and natural drivers. Our results show that all municipalities have been affected by drought in the last 30 years. The years 1981–1982, 1992, 2016 and 2018 were marked as the driest years during the study period (1981–2018) com-pared to the reference period (1986–2015). In general, the irrigated systems are remarkably less often affected by drought than rainfed systems; however, most farmers on irrigated land are smallholders for whom drought impacts can be significant. The drought risk of rainfed agricultural systems is exceptionally high in the north, central and west of the country, while for irrigated systems, there are more separate high-risk hotspots across the country. The vulnerability assessment identified potential entry points for disaster risk reduction at the local municipality level, such as increasing environmental awareness, reducing land degradation and increasing total dam and irrigation capacity.
    UNBIS Thesaurus RISK ASSESSMENT
    Keyword Vulnerability
    Irrigated
    Rainfed
    Disaster risk reduction
    Copyright Holder The Authors
    Copyright Year 2021
    Copyright type Creative commons
    DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.149505
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    Created: Mon, 09 Aug 2021, 20:40:29 JST by Aarti Basnyat on behalf of UNU EHS