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Drought is a normal, recurrent feature of climate and characterized in terms of its spatial extension, intensity and duration. Conditions of drought appear when rainfall is deficient in relation to the statistical multi-year average for a region, over an extended period of a season or a year, or even more. Drought is a temporary aberration unlike aridity, which is a permanent feature of climate.

Mitigation measures are initiatives undertaken to reduce the incidence or minimise impacts of drought. Besides drought proofing, these measures help in adapting to climate change, restoring ecological balance and bringing development benefits to the people. However, drought mitigation programmes are not to be construed stand-alone interventions that are to be implemented only in the wake of a drought; but must form part of developmental planning in the domain of soil conservation, watershed development and forestry. As such, drought mitigation measures are to be mainstreamed in regular development programmes of Central and State Governments.

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