Drought is a hazard which can affect the lives of millions of people around the world. This phenomena can seriously threaten the livelihoods based on subsistence agriculture. Tradiationally, meteorological offices or departments use rainfall data to assess the magnitude and geographical extent of droughts.
In order to support efforts conducted in South-Asia related to droughts, a South-Asia Drought Monitoring System (SADMS) is being established. The system will make us of meteorological data, vegetation information gathered by satellites and samples of ground truth moisture and crop-yield. This system aims to contribute to drought monitoring efforts in countries such as Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
The monitoring system is managed by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), the Global Water Partnership (GWP), and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) under the Integrated Drought Management Programme (IDMP). The national authorities of each country affected are also part of the program, as well as the Country Water Partnerships (CWPs from the GWP) and other interested agencies.
According to the IWMI, the goal of the SADMS is to "build climate resilience, to reduce economic and social losses and alleviate poverty in drought-affected regions in South Asia through an integrated approach to drought management". This system will use data based on the Integrated Drought Severity Index (IDSI) combining space-based information on vegetation and traditional climate-based tools.