Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-421
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-421
20 Feb 2024
 | 20 Feb 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Review article: Drought as a continuum: memory effects in interlinked hydrological, ecological, and social systems

Anne F. Van Loon, Sarra Kchouk, Alessia Matanó, Faranak Tootoonchi, Camila Alvarez-Garreton, Khalid E. A. Hassaballah, Minchao Wu, Marthe L. K. Wens, Anastasiya Shyrokaya, Elena Ridolfi, Riccardo Biella, Viorica Nagavciuc, Marlies H. Barendrecht, Ana Bastos, Louise Cavalcante, Franciska T. de Vries, Margaret Garcia, Johanna Mård, Ileen N. Streefkerk, Claudia Teutschbein, Roshanak Tootoonchi, Ruben Weesie, Valentin Aich, Juan P. Boisier, Giuliano Di Baldassarre, Yiheng Du, Mauricio Galleguillos, René Garreaud, Monica Ionita, Sina Khatami, Johanna K. L. Koehler, Charles H. Luce, Shreedhar Maskey, Heidi D. Mendoza, Moses N. Mwangi, Ilias G. Pechlivanidis, Germano G. Ribeiro Neto, Tirthankar Roy, Robert Stefanski, Patricia Trambauer, Elizabeth A. Koebele, Giulia Vico, and Micha Werner

Abstract. Droughts are often long lasting phenomena, without a distinct start or end, and with impacts cascading across sectors and systems, creating long-term legacies. Nevertheless, our current perception and management of droughts and their impacts is often event-based, which can limit the effective assessment of drought risks and reduction of drought impacts. Here, we advocate for changing this perspective and viewing drought as a hydro-eco-social continuum. We take a systems theory perspective and focus on how “memory” causes feedback and interactions between parts of the interconnected systems at different time scales. We first discuss the characteristics of the drought continuum with a focus on the hydrological, ecological, and social systems separately; and then study the system of systems. Our analysis is based on a review of the literature and a study of five cases: Chile, the Colorado River Basin in the US, Northeast Brazil, Kenya, and the Rhine River Basin in Northwest Europe. We find that the memories of past dry and wet periods, carried by both bio-physical (e.g. groundwater, vegetation) and social systems (e.g. people, governance), influence how future drought risk manifests. We identify four archetypes of drought dynamics: Impact & recovery; Slow resilience-building; Gradual collapse; and High resilience, big shock. The interactions between the hydrological, ecological and social systems result in systems shifting between these types, which plays out differently in the five case studies. We call for more research on drought pre-conditions and recovery in different systems, on dynamics cascading between systems and triggering system changes, and on dynamic vulnerability and maladaptation. Additionally, we argue for more continuous monitoring of drought hazards and impacts, modelling tools that better incorporate memories and adaptation responses, and management strategies that increase social and institutional memory to better deal with the complex hydro-eco-social drought continuum and identify effective pathways to adaptation.

Anne F. Van Loon, Sarra Kchouk, Alessia Matanó, Faranak Tootoonchi, Camila Alvarez-Garreton, Khalid E. A. Hassaballah, Minchao Wu, Marthe L. K. Wens, Anastasiya Shyrokaya, Elena Ridolfi, Riccardo Biella, Viorica Nagavciuc, Marlies H. Barendrecht, Ana Bastos, Louise Cavalcante, Franciska T. de Vries, Margaret Garcia, Johanna Mård, Ileen N. Streefkerk, Claudia Teutschbein, Roshanak Tootoonchi, Ruben Weesie, Valentin Aich, Juan P. Boisier, Giuliano Di Baldassarre, Yiheng Du, Mauricio Galleguillos, René Garreaud, Monica Ionita, Sina Khatami, Johanna K. L. Koehler, Charles H. Luce, Shreedhar Maskey, Heidi D. Mendoza, Moses N. Mwangi, Ilias G. Pechlivanidis, Germano G. Ribeiro Neto, Tirthankar Roy, Robert Stefanski, Patricia Trambauer, Elizabeth A. Koebele, Giulia Vico, and Micha Werner

Status: open (extended)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-421', carolina ojeda leal, 22 Feb 2024 reply
  • AC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-421', Anne Van Loon, 22 Feb 2024 reply
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-421', Rene Orth, 21 Mar 2024 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-421', Ana Iglesias, 08 Apr 2024 reply
Anne F. Van Loon, Sarra Kchouk, Alessia Matanó, Faranak Tootoonchi, Camila Alvarez-Garreton, Khalid E. A. Hassaballah, Minchao Wu, Marthe L. K. Wens, Anastasiya Shyrokaya, Elena Ridolfi, Riccardo Biella, Viorica Nagavciuc, Marlies H. Barendrecht, Ana Bastos, Louise Cavalcante, Franciska T. de Vries, Margaret Garcia, Johanna Mård, Ileen N. Streefkerk, Claudia Teutschbein, Roshanak Tootoonchi, Ruben Weesie, Valentin Aich, Juan P. Boisier, Giuliano Di Baldassarre, Yiheng Du, Mauricio Galleguillos, René Garreaud, Monica Ionita, Sina Khatami, Johanna K. L. Koehler, Charles H. Luce, Shreedhar Maskey, Heidi D. Mendoza, Moses N. Mwangi, Ilias G. Pechlivanidis, Germano G. Ribeiro Neto, Tirthankar Roy, Robert Stefanski, Patricia Trambauer, Elizabeth A. Koebele, Giulia Vico, and Micha Werner
Anne F. Van Loon, Sarra Kchouk, Alessia Matanó, Faranak Tootoonchi, Camila Alvarez-Garreton, Khalid E. A. Hassaballah, Minchao Wu, Marthe L. K. Wens, Anastasiya Shyrokaya, Elena Ridolfi, Riccardo Biella, Viorica Nagavciuc, Marlies H. Barendrecht, Ana Bastos, Louise Cavalcante, Franciska T. de Vries, Margaret Garcia, Johanna Mård, Ileen N. Streefkerk, Claudia Teutschbein, Roshanak Tootoonchi, Ruben Weesie, Valentin Aich, Juan P. Boisier, Giuliano Di Baldassarre, Yiheng Du, Mauricio Galleguillos, René Garreaud, Monica Ionita, Sina Khatami, Johanna K. L. Koehler, Charles H. Luce, Shreedhar Maskey, Heidi D. Mendoza, Moses N. Mwangi, Ilias G. Pechlivanidis, Germano G. Ribeiro Neto, Tirthankar Roy, Robert Stefanski, Patricia Trambauer, Elizabeth A. Koebele, Giulia Vico, and Micha Werner

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Short summary
Drought is a creeping phenomenon, but it is often still analysed and managed like an event without taking into consideration what happened before and after. In this paper we review the literature and discuss five cases, where drought, its impacts and responses develop differently over time. We look at the hydrological, ecological and social system and their connections. And we provide suggestions for further research and for monitoring, modelling and management.