Coping Strategies for Drought


India, which has faced drought conditions at least once every three years over the last few decades, is amongst the most vulnerable and drought prone countries in the world.

This year, in particular, the drought is even worse than in the previous six years, because the showers expected in September, before the end of the monsoon, never arrived.

Below you will find a list of the most important tips and measures for using water resources sparingly and to overcome water scarcity, as best as possible.



  • Divide the water sensibly and optimize your irrigation system. Many farmers use drip irrigation. It can save up to 80% more water than conventional irrigation systems

  • Try to avoid growing water thirsty plants, such as sugar cane

  • Build a water storage system, to capture and store the water from rainfall throughout the year. For example, you could store water in ditches alongside fields

  • Adapt your irrigation plan to current local conditions. Monitor the weather forecast, the soil and plant moisture levels

  • If possible, utilize water from deep aquifers instead of surface water

  • Please contact your Local Extension Officer for Government schemes related to this issue


Coping Stragtegies for Drought



  • Leave crop residue in your field to improve the water holding capacity of your soil as well as reducing evaporation and erosion.

  • Maintain and establish riparian buffers, filter strips, grassed waterways, and other types of conservation buffers near streams and other sources of water

  • Reduce the amount and depth of tillage. Moisture loss increases with both the number of passes and the depth of tillage.


Drought relief schemes

Besides staying on recovery or farm loans, the exemption in land revenue, discounts in electricity bills, agriculture pumps, and supply of water through tankers, the Department of Agriculture Cooperation & Farmers Welfare has listed a number of aid programmes and schemes for drought management. National NGOs such as the Naam Foundation or the Paani Foundation also contribute to the fight against drought in India with their aid measures and initiatives. In addition research institutes like ICRISAT are also involved in drought management and will provide valuable information.