A Three-day International Workshop on ‘Advancing Drought Monitoring, Prediction, and Management Capabilities’ has been organized jointly by University of Hyderabad and Lancaster University in Lancaster University, UK from 18-20 September 2018. The Indian team was headed by Dr. V. Chakravarthi, Associate Professor, CEOAS, UoH and the UK team by Prof. Peter Atkinson, Faculty Dean, Lancaster University, UK. The India-UK Water Centre (IUKWC) has extended financial support to organize the workshop.

A total of 33 participants, 17 from India and 16 from UK, have been invited to the workshop. The selection of the participants from both sides has been made in utmost transparency considering the applicant expertise relevant to the workshop theme, motivation for attending the workshop, expected contribution to the workshop, potential benefit to the applicant in attending, and the organisational balance.

Droughts cause extensive human and economic loss through adverse impacts on food, water, and energy supplies. Climate change will further intensify these impacts. The impacts from droughts vary spatially and temporally with the state of the system. This leads to difficulties in precisely and consistently defining and characterizing droughts. But, since droughts develop slowly, they allow time to monitor climate and system states in near real-time through various indicators.
It is more critical than ever, particularly in drought vulnerable economies like India, for an integrated drought management approach to enhance the water security (both surface and groundwater). For example, the Indian economy has suffered from the successive impacts of multi-year droughts in the last decade. Several national schemes in India have been launched in past three years to increase resilience to drought, and many scientific organizations in India are actively working to enhance drought management capabilities. This workshop aims to bring together in one platform key actors engaged independently in the three domains of drought monitoring, prediction and management to leverage cutting-edge drought science for meeting society’s needs for drought planning and management.

The objectives of the workshop were covered in four elaborate sessions spread over three days, besides having poster presentations and scientific discussions on breakout topics. The scientific session was started on 18th by an inaugural talk by Atul Sahai of IITM (India) on ‘Monsoon mission efforts in predicting long break spells during monsoon leading to drought conditions over India’. A total of 18 invited talks, 8 from India and 10 from UK, were delivered on the themes of the workshop that include drought monitoring with special focus on multi-sensor data-based indicators and indices at operational scales in session-I, drought forecasting at operational scales in session-II, information on drought services for operational decisions in session-III, and drought impacts on food, water (both surface and groundwater) and agricultural systems in session-IV. In addition, 14 posters were presented by researchers from both the countries. On day 3 (20th September), elaborate discussions on important themes in the form of breakout topics were conducted and the outcome was synthesized for future collaborations between the two countries.