Aridity Anomaly Index (AAI)

Aridity Anomaly Index (AAI)

Recently the ‘Aridity Anomaly’ (Aridity Anomaly) Outlook Index has been released by the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

According to the Aridity Anomaly Outlook Index, about 85% of the districts in India are now experiencing dry conditions.

According to this index, only 63 districts out of 756 were non-arid. On the other hand, 660 districts are facing different levels of aridity, namely moderate, moderate and severe aridity.

This index monitors the drought associated with agriculture. Any discrepancy in the normal value of this index indicates water scarcity in the districts. This reduction can directly affect agricultural activity.

Dry land is land where the loss of water from plants due to evaporation or transpiration exceeds the amount of rainfall.

The arid regions in India include the following areas:

  • Desert of Rajasthan, Rann of Kutch, semi-arid regions of Punjab and Gujarat, rain shadow regions of Western Ghats in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
  • About 69% of India is dry land. Arid lands include arid, semi-arid and arid sub-humid regions.

Key challenges of arid regions:

These areas are water scarce, groundwater level has gone down, rainfall is less, while water runoff is faster and these areas are more prone to climate change etc.

Measures to make dry land resilient:

  • Crop diversification method should be adopted,
  • Traditional crop varieties should be cultivated,
  • Inter-cropping should be adopted,
  • Emphasis should be given on mulching technique
  • Dependence on micro-irrigation should be increased

Key Schemes:

  • Drought Prone Areas Program (DPAP) has been launched,
  • National Rural Drinking Water Program (NRDWP) is being operated etc.

According to the National Commission on Agriculture, there are 3 types of drought:

  • Meteorological Drought: It occurs when the actual rainfall in an area is much less than the climatic average of that area.
  • Hydrological Cycle Drought: Due to excessive depletion of surface water, streams of rivers become weak. Apart from this, lakes, rivers and reservoirs dry up.
  • Agricultural Drought: Lack of moisture in the soil leads to poor crop production and decline in agricultural productivity.

Source – The Hindu

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