Sarker, MLR; Janet, N; Mansor, SA; Bin Ahmad, B; Shahid, S; Chung, ES; Reid, JS; Siswanto, E (2020). An Integrated Method for Identifying Present Status and Risk of Drought in Bangladesh. REMOTE SENSING, 12(17), 2686.

The occurrence and severity of agricultural droughts may not be dependent upon climatic variables alone. Rather increasingly, drought is affected by human interventions such as irrigation. Anthropogenic activity has introduced uncertainty in the assessment of current drought and future drought risk in many parts of the world; neither climatic nor remote sensing data alone are able to assess drought conditions effectively. In response, we present a simple approach to assess drought by combining a remote sensing-based drought index, the Temperature Vegetation Dryness Index (TVDI), climate data (i.e., rainfall and temperature), and field observations to evaluate recent drought conditions in northwestern Bangladesh (NWB). Applying this approach, we gained five insights: (i) the TVDI successfully indicated the drought conditions of NWB and agrees with field observations, (ii) the integrated use of TVDI and climate data (such as rainfall and temperature) provides the best understanding of the difference between meteorological drought and droughts resulting from surface moisture conditions, (iii) the TVDI results agree with rainfall data (r(2)= 0.40 in March and r(2)= 46 in April) in a part of the study area (NWB) where irrigation is not available, (iv) the TVDI can be used along with climate data to predict the potential risk of drought, and (v) while meteorological drought exists due to low rainfall and high temperature in this NWB in pre-monsoon season, because of widespread irrigation practices, meteorological drought is unable to trigger agricultural drought over most parts of the study area. The findings imply that there is a potential risk of drought in NWB, since any disruption of irrigation water supply could trigger a severe agricultural drought over the whole region. This is similar to what is currently observed over a small part of NWB.