Droughts and their impacts on the municipality of Boqueirão, PB, Brazil

Abstract Droughts are natural phenomena that occur when precipitation falls below average in a given region. However, no consensus exists regarding the definition of this term due to differing hydro meteorological and socioeconomic variables in various regions of the world. In this work, we identified and analyzed droughts and their impacts on the municipality of Boqueirão - PB. We used the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) to identify droughts. Regarding impacts, we analyzed agricultural data from 2011, 2012 and 2013 as well as data relating to livestock and agricultural products produced in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. The most severe droughts in Boqueirão municipality occurred in the years 1980-1982, 1998-2000 and 2012-2013. The greatest impact was observed in 1998-2000. The droughts have drastically reduced agriculture production and water supply in the region. The most severe impacts during the drought of 2012-2014 occurred in 2012 and 2013. Temporary crops were more affected than the permanent ones. This was because most of the permanent crops were irrigated, unlike the temporary ones. The greatest reduction of animals also occurred during 2012 and 2013, with a direct relationship between precipitation and herd populations. The droughts caused no reduction in the value of production.