To manage drought risks effectively, it is important to understand the likely impacts, who will be at risk, and why. Our scientists have developed drought monitoring and early warning systems that can help water companies, regulators, policy makers and others to assess vulnerability to droughts before they occur. Our systems enable us to monitor and predict the severity and extent of hazards, as well as their likely effect on the economy and society, and they support stakeholders to design effective measures to reduce and prevent the worst impacts of drought.

Please note that the UK Drought Portal has now been switched off and replaced by the UK Water Resources Portal, which features more data and functionalities in addition to what the drought portal used to offer.

Tool: The UK Drought Portal

Screengrab from UK Drought Portal showing SPI-3 drought indicator (rainfall averaged over 3 months to end of July 2018)

We have developed the UK Drought Portal, an online tool that allows users to explore and monitor dry weather situations across the UK using near real-time data. The portal provides visual summaries of meteorological conditions through interactive maps and graphs, with data updated at the beginning of each month.

The UK Drought Portal shows the relative magnitude of drought events for the whole of the UK at high resolution, using a 5km2 gridded rainfall product. These drought indicators can also be aggregated for individual river catchments. Users can apply the tool to calculate the rainfall deficit over different time periods, ranging from one to 24 months.

The Drought Portal has been widely used by UK water managers, water companies and regulators to track the evolution and severity of the drought. It was used extensively to inform decision-making during the recent 2018-2019 drought.

Visit the About Drought website for more information.