Historic droughts inventory of references from British tabloid newspapers 1992-2014

Dayrell, C. and Fry, M. and Bachiller-Jareno, N. (2020). Historic droughts inventory of references from British tabloid newspapers 1992-2014. [Data Collection]. Colchester, Essex: UK Data Service. 10.5255/UKDA-SN-853403

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)

Mentions of the word drought* in articles published by British tabloids newspapers between 1992-2014. The asterisk (*) is a wildcard to indicate that the search considered different forms of the search term: drought, droughts, hyphenated words (e.g. drought-resistant), or adjectival occurrences (droughty). The following newspapers are included, in their weekday or Sunday publications: The Daily Mail, The Daily Record, The Daily Mirror, The Sun, The Express, The Daily Star.

Data creators:
Creator Name Affiliation ORCID (as URL)
Dayrell C. Lancaster University http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0165-0884
Fry M. Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Bachiller-Jareno N. Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
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/L01016X/1
Topic classification: Media, communication and language
Keywords: droughts, newspapers, inventories, water resources, mass media
Project title: Analysis of historic drought and water scarcity in the UK: a systems-based study of drivers, impacts and their interactions
Grant holders: Jamie Hannaford, Christel Prudhomme, Matthew Fry
Project dates:
1 April 20141 April 2019
Date published: 04 Jun 2019 09:43
Last modified: 27 Nov 2020 14:23

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