干旱是一种自然灾害。这是一个很难定义的条件，因为它的含义因地区而异。因此，对于干旱没有一个固定的定义(Botterill and Chapman, 2002)。学者们对干旱有几种不同的定义。这些因素包括气象因素，例如受干扰的天气状况;水文因素，例如降雨稀少;以及农业因素，如较低的生产规模(Wilhite and Grantz, 1985)。博特里尔和查普曼(2002)在上述所有因素的基础上简明地将干旱定义为“水的需求和供应之间的不匹配”(临7)。
几个世纪以来，新南威尔士州以令人毛骨悚然的干旱历史而闻名。本世纪，新南威尔士州最严重的干旱发生在2002- 2003年，到2003年2月，新南威尔士州全境宣布发生干旱(Alston and Kent, 2004;2005年)。之后，干旱状况继续在不同地点、不同时期盛行。在这份报告中，将讨论Walgett郡的干旱情况。Walgett郡干旱最明显的原因是低于该地区的平均降雨量。淡化海水的供应、管道供水以及最重要的是保存可用的水，可能有助于抗旱。本报告将深入了解新南威尔士州干旱的原因和影响，特别是沃尔格特郡的干旱。
Drought is a natural hazard. It is a condition which is difficult to define, as its meaning varies from one region to another. Thus, there is no settled definition of drought (Botterill and Chapman, 2002). There are several definitions given by scholars which point towards distinct factors of drought. These factors include meteorological factors such as disturbed weather conditions; hydrological factors such as scarcity of rainfall; and agricultural factors such as lower scale of production (Wilhite and Grantz, 1985). Botterill and Chapman (2002) concisely define drought, on the basis of all the above factors, as “mismatch between demand and supply of water” (p.7).
New South Wales is known for creepy drought history since centuries. In the present century, the most severe drought in New South Wales happened in 2002-3 when by February 2003, drought was declared all over NSW (Alston and Kent, 2004; Horridge, Madden, and Wittwer 2005). Afterwards, drought conditions continue to prevail at different locations in different periods of time. In this report, drought conditions in Walgett Shire will be discussed. The most obvious and apparent reason for Walgett Shire drought is below average rainfall in the area. Supply of desalinated ocean water, water through pipelines and above all preserving available water may help in countering the drought. This report will give insight to the causes and impacts of drought in NSW, specifically drought in Walgett Shire.
除了农业部门的经济损失外，Walgett的农民家庭还因Walgett的干旱而遭受严重的社会问题。由于该地区干旱，农民家庭只能勉强糊口，几乎没有现金。贫困率自最近三到四年来不断上升，因为农民无法种植足够的作物，因此无法获得足够的收入来支持他们的社会生活。除了普遍贫困之外，农民还遭受着心理贫困。Alston & Kent(2004)将心理贫困定义为一种脱离社区的感觉、缺乏获得服务的充分途径和工作负担。心理贫困还使农民产生一种感觉，即政府和其他公民不了解他们的处境和他们所承受的困难(Carnie et al, 2011)。此外，干旱还影响到Walgett农民家庭成员的健康、自杀率、家庭内部问题、与社区的隔绝以及农民家庭的代际冲突。Walgett农民子女的教育和识字率也受到干旱和农民收入下降的影响。农民家庭的妇女正遭受着过度紧张和抑郁的折磨，因为她们面临着大量的问题，如伴侣的健康、孩子的教育、搬到另一个地方、以及寻找非农工作来养家糊口。
Other than economic losses in the agriculture sector, farmers’ families of Walgett are severely suffering social problems due to drought in Walgett. Farmers’ families have been surviving hand to mouth with little or no cash as a result of dry conditions of the area. Poverty rate is continually increasing since last three to four years, as farmers cannot grow enough crops, hence cannot get enough income to support their social lives. Additional to general poverty, farmers are also suffering from psychological poverty. Alston & Kent (2004) define psychological poverty as a sense of withdrawal from community, lack of adequate access to services and burdened with work. Psychological poverty is also improvising a sense in farmers that the government and other citizens do not understand their situation and hardships being bear by them (Carnie et al, 2011). Moreover, drought is consequently affecting health of family members of farmers of Walgett, suicidal rate, intra-family problems, cut-off from community and intergeneration conflicts in farmers’ families. Education and literacy rate in farmers’ children in Walgett is also being affected due to drought and consequent lower income of farmers. Women of farmers’ families are suffering from hyprtension and depression as they are left with a ton of questions regarding health of their partner, education of their children, moving to another place, and finding off-farm work to financially support their family .