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https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-650
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-650
04 Apr 2024
 | 04 Apr 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

From insufficient rainfall to livelihoods: understanding the cascade of drought impacts and policy implications

Louise Cavalcante, David W. Walker, Sarra Kchouk, Germano Ribeiro Neto, Taís Maria Nunes Carvalho, Mariana Madruga de Brito, Wieke Pot, Art Dewulf, and Pieter van Oel

Abstract. A cascade of drought impacts refers to a series of interconnected events that trigger a chain reaction of impacts, extending beyond water scarcity, to affect agricultural production, socio-economic factors, and the environment. This paper aims to understand the role of society in mitigating drought impacts, particularly through policy responses. Conducting a case study in Ceará state, northeast Brazil, we used a global rare dataset of continuously drought monitoring, complemented by interviews with smallholder farmers and agricultural extension technicians. Additionally, we analyzed policy documents related to public policies implemented at the local level. Employing a classification of drought impacts as our analytical framework, our findings indicate that socio-environmental-economic impacts of drought are less frequently reported, suggesting that development policies are mitigating cascading effects on livelihoods. Most impacts are associated with hydrological impacts of drought, suggesting unintended consequences of investments in increasing water supply. We emphasize the significant contribution of public policies to mitigating the cascading effects of drought, which do not necessarily involve increasing water availability, but strengthen the local economy.

Publisher's note: Copernicus Publications remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims made in the text, published maps, institutional affiliations, or any other geographical representation in this preprint. The responsibility to include appropriate place names lies with the authors.
Louise Cavalcante, David W. Walker, Sarra Kchouk, Germano Ribeiro Neto, Taís Maria Nunes Carvalho, Mariana Madruga de Brito, Wieke Pot, Art Dewulf, and Pieter van Oel

Status: open (until 05 Jun 2024)

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  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-650', Anastasiya Shyrokaya, 29 Apr 2024 reply
Louise Cavalcante, David W. Walker, Sarra Kchouk, Germano Ribeiro Neto, Taís Maria Nunes Carvalho, Mariana Madruga de Brito, Wieke Pot, Art Dewulf, and Pieter van Oel
Louise Cavalcante, David W. Walker, Sarra Kchouk, Germano Ribeiro Neto, Taís Maria Nunes Carvalho, Mariana Madruga de Brito, Wieke Pot, Art Dewulf, and Pieter van Oel

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Short summary
The research aimed to understand the role of society in mitigating drought impacts through policy responses in the context of northeast Brazil. Results revealed that socio-environmental-economic impacts of drought are less frequently reported, while hydrological impacts of drought were the most reported. It emphasized that public policies addressing the impacts of drought need to focus not only on increasing water availability, but also on strengthening the local economy.