Where every drop counts


  • Rainfall has been scanty since the conclusion of the southwest monsoon, and several districts across the country have already been affected by drought in 2018-19. 
  • According to the Manual for Drought Management (2016) by the Department of Agriculture, there are six major data indicators which portend drought: Rainfall, crop sown area, reservoir levels, satellite-based crop conditions, stream flow and groundwater levels.

Drier than usual

  • The country receives three-fourths of its annual rainfall during the southwest monsoon. Data show that there was a 9% deficit in rainfall during the season. Rainfall from October 2018 has also not been favourable. Maps below show the percentage of excess or shortage of rainfall in each State during June-September 2018 (left) and during October-December 24 (right)

Water stored

  • Data shows that reservoirs in Andhra Pradesh & Telangana, West Bengal and Gujarat have the lowest storage levels as on December 26, 2018.


The rainfall and reservoir levels data shows that States like Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh have a drought situation. According to a written answer given during Lok Sabha Question Hour, several States, including Maharashtra, Karnataka and Rajasthan have declared drought in a number of districts during the year 2017-18 and 2018-19. Here are the number of districts and area affected in the drought-hit States.

State No. of districts affected Area affected
(lakh ha)
Maharashtra 26 85.76
Karnataka 24 37.12
Rajasthan 9 34.97
Gujarat 11 20.93
Andhra Pradesh 9 13.62
Jharkhand 18 3.59a


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