Project Description


The Tuscany Drought service is provided by the LaMMA Consortium for the area of the Tuscany region.

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Info & contacts
The reduction of drought impacts through risk management is crucial. In this perspective the LaMMA Consortium publishes a monthly bulletin with detailed and complete information on this phenomenon. On the web page dedicated to Seasonal Forecast: SPI 3 Index, Temperatures, and Precipitation. A Drought WebGIS with the main drought indices for monitoring, analysis and comparison with previous events (Rocchi et al., 2010).


Why a Drought observatory?

  • Drought is a complex and creeping phenomenon and its impacts on society are a combination of a natural event (decrease in rainfall amount due to climatic variability), water requirements for vegetation and water demand from the population for household and industrial purposes.
  • Water shortage has short-term consequences on soil moisture, but the persistence of this anomaly also has consequences on crop yield reduction and groundwater depletion. For this reason, drought is often divided into four types: meteorological, agricultural, hydrological and socio-economic. (Wilhite, 2000)

Aim: drought impacts reduction

As water is becoming an increasingly scarce resource and precipitation amount and regimes are changing, water use by humans exacerbates competition between various users and economic sectors.

To reduce drought impacts it is necessary to:

  • Conduct climatological analyses to provide decision makers and planners with information on the exent of drought phenomenon
  • Implement a continuous monitoring and forecasting system able to give timely information to stakeholders on the duration, extent and intensity of a drought event
  • preparedness and response plans for a more effective water risk management

Social, environmental and economic impacts

Agriculture is the top consumer of water and is the first to suffer the effects of intense drought. Intense drought protracted for a long period and during the groundwater recharge period and surface invasion can affect natural ecosystems, the civil and industrial sector.

Water shortage is one of the main natural causes of soil deterioration, degradation and desertification. It can have an influence on landslides caused by intense rainfall and an indirect impact on the reduction of potential capture of CO2 by natural ecosystems.


The LaMMA uses “pluviometric indices” and “indexes derived from satellite images” to monitor drought events in Tuscany
Data used to develop indexes come from the meteorological station network of the LaMMA Consortium, the Air Force, the Regional Hydrological Service and the MODIS satellite.


da Immagini Satellitari

The objective of the Drought Observatory is to assimilate climate and ecological data – from ground and satellite measurements – to the implementation of an operational system prototype. It aims to monitor and predict the medium to long-term effects of drought events, developed for the regional area.

The system should be updated continuously (temporally and spatially), easily updated, consulted and integrated with other sensitive data – such as soil use, plant cover, hydrometrics, levels of surface invasions and underground phenomena, etc. – which derive from measurements, estimation or models and are present in the structure or readily available from other entities/institutions.

Wilhite, D.A., 2000. “Drought as a natural hazard: concepts and definitions” in Drought: A Global Assessment, Volume I, D. A. Wilhite (ed.). Routledge, London, pp. 3-18 [pdf document]

Water is a natural resource for the ecosystem and man’s survival. Climate change and human activities are affecting the hydrological cycle and future water availability. Interventions and actions in the case of a water crisis should affect all levels of society, from administrations, to industries, to individual citizens.
You can find further information, suggestions and some data on the importance of water at the following link:

Drought WEBGIS

Developed by IBIMET-CNR, permits consultation of the principal drought indicators to monitor the occurrence and evolution of drought events and make analyses and comparisons on previous data.


The service is carried out in the framework of the research activities of Consorzio Lamma Toscana. The Consorzio Lamma Toscana is not responsible for any damage deriving from the use of these products.