Assessment of Climatic Drought and Its Economic Effects (Case Study: South Khorasan Province)

Document Type : Research and Full Length Article


1 Deserts Region Management, Faculty of Natural Resources University of Tehran

2 Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Tehran


In this research Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) in a period of 22 years
(1990 to 2011) was used for zoning of climatic and agricultural drought in South Khorasan
province, Iran. Rainfall data of six synoptic stations were collected and used for evaluation
of meteorological drought. Also, reports of some local offices such as natural resources,
agriculture, regional water and environment department were provided to study the effect
of agricultural economic drought. At first, the elevation-precipitation regression of each
period was obtained then this relationship was applied on Digital Evaluation Model (DEM)
layer using ArcGIS 9.3 software. The result showed that the most severity droughts
occurred in 2008, 2000, 2006 and 2011 respectively. In 2008 more than 66% of the study
area were classified as extremely drought class. The result of agricultural drought showed
that the total annual rangelands forage production of South Khorasan province that
expected to be 625000 tons reduced to 250000 tons during period of 2007 to 2011. Also
the agricultural production was faced with 45% reduction and caused rising poverty and
unemployment, immigration from rural area to urban, in evacuated villages.