Historic droughts inventory of references from agricultural media 1975-2012

Rey, D. and Holman, I. P. and Knox, J. W. (2020). Historic droughts inventory of references from agricultural media 1975-2012. [Data Collection]. Colchester, Essex: UK Data Archive. 10.5255/UKDA-SN-853167

Historic Droughts was a four year (2014-2018), £1.5m project funded by the UK Research Councils, aiming to develop a cross-disciplinary understanding of past drought episodes that have affected the United Kingdom (UK), with a view to developing improved tools for managing droughts in future. Drought and water scarcity (DWS) events are significant threats to livelihoods and wellbeing in many countries, including the United Kingdom (UK). Parts of the UK are already water-stressed and are facing a wide range of pressures, including an expanding population and intensifying exploitation of increasingly limited water resources. In addition, many regions may become significantly drier in future due to environmental changes, all of which implies major challenges to water resource management. However, DWS events are not simply natural hazards. There are also a range of socio-economic and regulatory factors that may influence the course of droughts, such as water consumption practices and abstraction licensing regimes. Consequently, if DWS events are to be better managed, there is a need for a more detailed understanding of the links between hydrometeorological and social systems during droughts. With this research gap in mind, the Historic Droughts project aimed to develop an interdisciplinary understanding of drought from a range of different perspectives. Based on an analysis of information from a wide range of sectors (hydrometeorological, environmental, agricultural, regulatory, social and cultural), the project characterised and quantified the history of drought and water scarcity events since the late 19th century. The Historic Droughts project involved eight institutions across the UK: the British Geological Survey the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Cranfield University, the University of Exeter, HR Wallingford, Lancaster University, the Met Office, and the University of Oxford.

Data description (abstract)

The agricultural drought inventory for the UK is a subset of data from the UK Drought Inventory. It contains qualitative drought data related to UK agriculture based on an extensive review of two weekly farming magazines in the UK: Farmers Weekly and Farmers Guardian for the period 1975-2012. For creating this dataset, we focused on the major drought events in that period (1975-76, 1988-92, 1995-97, 2003-06 and 2010-12). The agricultural inventory contains a total of 2,209 references. The inventory follows a standard format (based on the European Drought Impact Report Inventory, EDII), common to the other sectoral collection of references, that allows their combination for drought analysis and characterisation. Thus, it stores information on the start and end dates of the event and their location (local and regional based on NUTS regions) to characterise the temporal and spatial extents of the cited event. The events/entries are categorised as drivers, impacts, responses and includes a sample of text from the source.

Data creators:
Creator Name Affiliation ORCID (as URL)
Rey D. Cranfield University https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9024-576X
Holman I. P. Cranfield University https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5263-7746
Knox J. W. Cranfield University https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0473-6440
Sponsors: Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Grant reference: NE/L010070/1
Topic classification: Natural environment
Keywords: droughts, historic droughts, drought inventory, water scarcity, drought impact, drought response, drought management, agriculture, crop yields, crop prices, irrigation, livestock
Project title: Analysis of historic drought and water scarcity in the UK: a systems-based study of drivers, impacts and their interactions
Grant holders: Ian Holman, Jerry Knox
Project dates:
23 June 201430 September 2019
Date published: 09 Oct 2018 11:06
Last modified: 27 Nov 2020 14:17

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