Drought risk, vulnerability and impact assessment: achievements and future directions
Convener: Veit BlauhutECSECS | Co-conveners: Michael HagenlocherECSECS, Isabel Meza, Gustavo Naumann
| Attendance Fri, 08 May, 08:30–10:15 (CEST)

The adverse effects of droughts are felt all over the globe. Droughts often lead to direct and indirect impacts on different sectors from local to global scales. The likelihood of such impacts, understood as drought risk, is caused by the combination of drought hazard and underlying socio-economic, environmental, and governance-related vulnerability factors. To support the identification and planning of drought risk reduction and adaptation options, information on the drivers, patterns, and dynamics of current and future drought risk is needed in all dimensions of drought hazard, exposure, and vulnerability. Nevertheless, the majority of recent drought research merely focuses on the hazard component.
Even though the effects of drought are widespread and well known, research focused on the different drought risk dimensions is lagging behind other natural hazard research. Common standards for risk analysis and its components, as well as for impact assessment are missing. Furthermore, common criteria to assess past and potential future drought impacts are not existent. Whether this is due to the difficulty to grasp the hazard, the lack of standards for vulnerability and risk assessment, the myriad of different sectors involved, or the complex web of impacts remains unknown.
This session addresses drought research beyond the hazard. This includes techniques to collect drought impact information, methods to assess vulnerability and drought risk for different sectors (e.g. agriculture, energy production, commercial shipping and tourism), at different spatial (local to global) and temporal (past trends, current patterns, future scenarios) scales. The session aims at pooling examples from around the globe, discussing best practices, existing challenges and potential ways forward. We welcome the full variety of thematic foci (hazard, exposure, vulnerability, risk, and impact assessment) based on qualitative, quantitative and mixed-methods approaches. The session aims to bring together scientists and practitioners to evaluate the current state-of-the-art, foster drought risk research, establish a community of researchers and practitioners, and shape the future of drought vulnerability and risk research.

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