Diagnosing drought for dealing with drought in 3D

In April 2019 an interdisciplinary research project will start, coordinated by Wageningen University:

Diagnosing drought for dealing with drought in 3D: Toolbox for increasing drought preparedness of actors in water and climate governance, starting from north-eastern Brazil

This project is a joint effort of Brazilian and Dutch organizations including: Wageningen University (WU; The Netherlands); the Research Institute of Meteorology and Water Resources (FUNCEME; Brazil); the Federal University of Ceará (UFC; Brazil) and the Brazilian Research Agricultural Corporation, National Research Tropical Agroindustry Center (EMBRAPA; Brazil).

Project description: To manage drought better, human influences on drought must be better understood. Current frameworks for drought monitoring and water accounting focus on the natural boundary conditions and therefore offer little help in distilling human influences on drought. This project combines insights from socio-hydrology and water management to produce an entirely new approach, incorporating the study of water-related human dimensions (D1), socio-hydrological dynamics (D2), and the structuring of dialogues (D3) among actors. The project will develop and test the integrated, participatory 3D Drought Diagnosis (3DDD) toolbox. We will investigate nested scale levels, related to local water resources and virtual-water transfers together with actor networks of users, managers, traders, and policymakers. Test case is the drought-affected north-east of Brazil. Finally, the 3D Drought Diagnosis toolbox can be used to enable existing drought monitors to provide contextualized information in drought-affected regions worldwide. We will demonstrate how proposed drought management solutions perform with regard to cross-scale synergies and trade-offs in relation to the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2, 6, 10, and 13. The project will kick-off with three PhD candidates, each focussing on one of the three D’s: water-related human dimensions (D1), socio-hydrological dynamics (D­2), and dialogues among actors (D3). As a PhD candidate in this project, you will work in an international and interdisciplinary team, studying the development and impact of droughts using approaches from different scientific disciplines.


This project is funded by the Joint SDG research programme of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).