Water Resources Management

, Volume 21, Issue 5, pp 821–833 | Cite as

Regional Drought Assessment Based on the Reconnaissance Drought Index (RDI)

  • G. TsakirisEmail author
  • D. Pangalou
  • H. Vangelis


Regional drought assessment is conventionally based on drought indices for the identification of drought intensity, duration and areal extent. In this study, a new index, the Reconnaissance Drought Index (RDI) is proposed together with the well known Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) and the method of deciles. The new index exhibits significant advantages over the other indices by including apart from precipitation, an additional meteorological parameter, the potential evapotranspiration. The drought assessment is achieved using the above indices in two river basins, namely Mornos and Nestos basins in Greece. It is concluded that although the RDI generally responds in a similar fashion to the SPI (and to a lesser extent to the deciles), it is more sensitive and suitable in cases of a changing environment.

Key words

meteorological drought drought indices Reconnaissance Drought Index (RDI) deciles SPI Nestos river basin Mornos river basin 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Allen RG, Pereira LS, Raes D, Smith M (1997) Crop evapotranspiration, Guidelines for computing crop water requirements. FAO Irrigation and Drainage Paper No. 56Google Scholar
  2. Ben-Zvi A (1987) Indices of hydrological drought in Israel. J Hydrol 92:179–191CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Clausen B, Pearson CP (1995) Regional frequency analysis of annual maximum streamflow drought. J Hydrol 173:111–130CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Correia FN, Santos MA, Rodrigues R (1987) Engineering risk in regional drought studies. In: Duckstein L, Plate EJ (eds) Engineering reliability and risk in water resources. Martinus Nijhoff, DordrechtGoogle Scholar
  5. Doorenbos and Pruitt (1977) Guidelines for predicting crop water requirement. FAO Irrigation and Drainage Paper No. 24, FAO, Rome. pp 34–37Google Scholar
  6. Gibbs WJ, Maher JV (1967) Rainfall deciles as drought indicators. Bureau of Meteorology Bulletin 48, Commonwealth of Australia, MelbourneGoogle Scholar
  7. Kinninmonth WR, Voice ME, Beard GS, de Hoedt GC, Mullen CE (2000) Australian climate services for drought management. In: Wilhite DA (ed) Drought: A global assessment. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  8. McKee TB, Doesken NJ, Kleist J (1993) The relationship of drought frequency and duration to time scales. Proceedings of the 8th Conference on Applied Climatology; 17–22 January 1993, American Meteorological Society, BostonGoogle Scholar
  9. Monteith JL (1981) Evaporation and surface temperature. Q J R Meteorol Soc 107:1–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Picatoste JR, del Hoyo J, Pallares MA, Moreno T (1998) Aridity map of Spain. In: N. Dalezios (ed) Proceedings of the International Symposium of Applied Agrometeorology and Agroclimatology. pp 475–480Google Scholar
  11. Rossi G (2000) Drought mitigation measures: a comprehensive framework. In: Voght JV, Somma F (eds) Drought and drought mitigation in Europe. Kluwer, DordrechtGoogle Scholar
  12. Rossi G, Benedini M, Tsakiris G, Giakoumakis S (1992) On regional drought estimation and analysis. Water Resour Manag 6:249–277CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Tsakiris G (2004) Meteorological Drought Assessment. Paper prepared for the needs of the European Research Program MEDROPLAN (Mediterranean Drought Preparedness and Mitigation Planning), Zaragoza, SpainGoogle Scholar
  14. Tsakiris G, Vangelis H (2005) Establishing a drought index incorporating evapotranspiration. Eur Water 9–10:1–9Google Scholar
  15. Tsakiris G, Rossi G, Iglesias A, Tsiourtis N, Garrote L, Cancelliere A (2006) Drought Indicators Report. Report made for the needs of the European Research Program MEDROPLAN (Mediterranean Drought Preparedness and Mitigation Planning)Google Scholar
  16. Wilhite DA, Hayes MJ, Svodoba MD (2000) Drought monitoring and assessment in the U.S. In: Voght JV, Somma F (eds) Drought and drought mitigation in Europe. Kluwers, DordrechtGoogle Scholar
  17. Yevjevich V (1967) An objective approach to definitions and investigations of continental hydrologic drought. Hydrology Paper No. 23, Colorado State University, ColoradoGoogle Scholar
  18. Yevjevich V, Da Cunha L, Vlachos E (1983) Coping with droughts. Water Resources Publications, Littleton, ColoradoGoogle Scholar
  19. Zelenhasic E, Salvai A (1987) A method of streamflow drought analysis. Water Resour Res 23(1):156–168CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for the Assessment of Natural Hazards and Proactive Planning and Laboratory of Reclamation Works and Water Resources ManagementNational Technical University of AthensAthensGreece

Personalised recommendations