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Brief History on Development of Drought Information Website

Drought monitoring program was initiated since early 2001. It was established following the 1998 drought incident which affected a large number of residents in the Klang Valley, Malaysia. Following that incident, The Department of Irrigation Malaysia (DID) initiated the website with the aim if assisting relevant agencies to make early preparation to face drought events. For the information of readers, this website is continuosly being improve and additional features will soon be added to better reflect the drought situation in Malaysia. The characteristics of this website are based on an approach of 'Non-Structural Measures' such as :

  • Map of high risk areas for drought

  • Adaption of droughts

  • Awareness raising/capacity building

  • Drought Warning System

Department of Irrigation and Drainage being responsible for water resources management, disseminates drought information to various water related agencies and department for drought early warning system and preparedness through to this web site. Enhancement of drought monitoring has been carriedour which encompassed increasing the numbers of rainfall and water level stations as well as improving the techniques for drought analysis, identification, monitoring and dissemination.


  • To disseminate water resources status via on-line 

  • To provide early warning on potential drought.

  • As a technical advisory on drought status.


There is a close relationship between water resources status and current rainfall amount received, thus, in this program therainfall data of 41 selected stations are used in the analysis to reflect the water resources status of Peninsular Malaysia. In this case the percentage of deviation from the long term mean (LTM) value of 3 monthly moving rainfall totals is used as indicator of the water catchments condition. A negative deviation from the LTM value indicates that the particular region is experiencing a dryer than normal condition and vice versa.

Hidrology Drought

Hydrological drought is best defined by deficiencies in surface and subsurface water supplies such as reservoir and ground water levels, stream flow and rainfall. A hydrology drought situation would occur when any river discharges or any dam level decrease continuously. This situation can be defined by the changes as below :-

a) River Discharges

When the low flow exceed 5 years Average Recurrence Interval ( ARI) continuously for 3 months, a drought event is considered as occurring . Currently, there are 41 stations throughout Peninsular Malaysia that are monitored on a daily basis via DID telemetry network. Drought analysis and prediction for Sabah and Sarawak will be included as from next year (2014).

b) Dam Levels

Drought event would be considered when a dam levels falls below the alert level for 2  months continuously. Currently (2013) DID Malaysia monitors water levels in 13 dams for Peninsular Malaysia. Next year (2014), more stations are planned to be included to provide better coverage of the system.