The traditional drought indexes provide information monthly or more rarely used for the post evaluation of the drought damage. In the 2015 the General Directorate of Water Management and the University of Szeged initiated a new solution Drought and Water Scarcity Management System (DWMS) as an effective tool to support the water management for irrigation and other agricultural activities. With the new drought index that supplies daily information in real time and enables to take effective measures in time this solution decreases the damage of the drought during the extreme weather conditions.
As a first step a workgroup of experts was established to evaluate the existing drought indexes in the world. As was determined all of these indexes are suitable for follow-up analysis, but cannot be used for operational actions. For this reason, a new daily calculated index was developed and DWMS has been developed.
This system consists of the three main components:
- Monitoring: precipitation, temperature, soil moisture, data transmission. This monitoring system supports the effective water management, and it has additional features which support the “smart agriculture”.
- Evaluation methodology: New drought index (Hungarian Drought Index)
- Concept of the Hungarian Drought Index (HDI)
- Daily calculated and modular – enable the fast response during the droughty period – no more drought index with this frequency. The international indexes enable the post evaluation, but do not support the operational actions. The highest frequency of these indexes min. 1 month.
- Basic value: HDI0 – needs only precipitation and temperature (archive and recent).
- Extended with stress factor: HDI0* S (S=depend on the previous time period – 10 days – precipitation and heat days).
- Extended with stress factor and soil moisture factors: HDI0* S * k
- k= soil moisture factor (combination of the soil moisture factor in the upper soil layer (0-35 cm) and deeper soil layer (35 – 80 cm).
- This index supplies useable daily information on the current drought situation, supporting the actions on state level.
- New laws: Introducing the drought management system into the national legislation with the principle “Limits according the HDI – Actions according the limits”. The new laws regulate the responsibility of the state in a drought situation and also ensure financial resources to support the system.
The DWMS can be used as well for the “smart agriculture”:
- Pest and disease control
- Optimize Spray timing
- Reduce crop loss
- Reduce chemical residue in crop, soil and ground water
- Provide traceability records: What? When? Why?
- Frost protection
- Irrigation support.
Budget: Build-up and operation of a new monitoring network consisting of 16-20 stations on pilot area approx. 20 thousand square km area costs 400,000 EUR
Partner: The University of Szeged (Hungary)
General Directorate of Water Management, Ministry of Interior of Hungary