Drought is a normal part of virtually all climatic regimes, including areas with high and low average rainfall. Drought results when the amount of precipitation that is received over an extended period of time (usually a season or more in length) is significantly less than normal amounts for that area. Although Louisiana features several large bodies of water, thousands of miles of rivers, streams, and bayous, and is home to thousands of acres of wetlands, the state has experienced occasional drought conditions. A drought's impact may also include direct effects to the local economic and hydrological (rivers, reservoirs and water tables) resources, or may be the cause for secondary effects such as wildfires. Northern parishes have been especially prone to agricultural droughts, which lead to severe decreases in soil moisture and have serious consequences for crop production.
Strategies for drought preparedness focus mainly on water conservation. Here are some tips to help mitigate a drought:
- Repair dripping faucets by replacing washers. One drop per second wastes 2,700 gallons of water per year.
- Check all plumbing for leaks and have any leaks repaired by a plumber.
- Insulate your water pipes to reduce heat loss and prevent them from breaking.
- Choose appliances that are more energy and water efficient.
- Invest in a low-volume toilet that uses less than half the water of older models. Note: In many areas, low-volume units are required by law.
|NOAA's Drought Information Center|
|National Drought Mitigation Center|
|Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin|
|US Drought Assistance|