Document Type : Research Paper


1 University of Technology - Civil Engineering Department - Water Division Al-Sina'a Street, Baghdad, Baghdad Governorate

2 Civil Engineering Department, University of Technology - Iraq


Drought is one of the most significant natural disasters in Iraq. It has a strong impact on the water resources in Iraq. Consequently, it causes massive environmental damage, economic deficiency, and social problems to the country. Therefore, more considerations towards the study and management of drought has become of vital importance in recent decades.
In this paper, three drought indices (DIs) were computed for evaluation of the spatiotemporal of drought within Derbendikhan Dam Watershed (DDW) in the Diyala River Basin, Iraq. Based on the monthly weather data for the period (1984 – 2013) downloaded from the Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR) for eight stations located within DDW. The Reconnaissance Drought Index (RDI), standardized precipitation index (SPI) and Streamflow Drought Index (SDI) at 12-month time scale were computed to assess droughts in the DDW. For each index, the temporal variations of the drought severity and Drought Frequency Patterns (DFPs) for the period (1984 – 2013) were computed and analyzed. In addition, spatial distributions of the drought severity for each index were mapped and investigated. Accordingly, the DFPs were compared to specify the dominant and/or more frequent DFPs. The results show that the performances of different DIs are strongly correlated with the dominant factors of droughts and drought duration. Also, the SPI and SDI are less accurate than the RDI when both precipitation and evaporation are the main factors controlling the drought events. However, the SPI and SDI indices are identical in the same proportions of the dry years which are less than the ratio of dry years to an RDI, but the severity of the drought from the SDI results is higher than the severity of the drought relative to the SPIand RDI. The three indices indicate that the Eastern region is drier than the Western region, which is somewhat wet.