Document Type : Original Article
Assistant Professor, Department of Geography and Rural Planning, Payame Noor University, Tehran, Iran.
Master of Agriculture, Islamic Azad University, Boroujerd Branch, Boroujerd, Iran.
Drought, as one of the environmental hazards, has harmful effects on the environment. This study aimed at investigating the drought trends and their effects on the economic, social and environmental situations of the rural settlements of Kurdistan province in Iran. It was conducted in a descriptive-analytical method. The statistical population consisted of 384 household heads of the province. In order to determine the drought status, in the first place, the precipitation over a period of 27 years (1987-2014) was investigated on the basis of Standard Precipitation index (SPI); then, the effects and consequences of droughts were explained in a survey method through a questionnaire. Results of SPI showed that the counties of Ghorveh with 19, Bijar and Sanandaj each one with 17, Saqez and Baneh each one with 16, Zarrineh with 15 and Marivan with 14 years had experienced mild to severe droughts. Factor analysis results indicated that the economic, environmental and social factors could explain 55.03 percent of total variance (22.91 percent for the economic, 17.27 percent for the environmental and 14.85 percent for the social factors); in addition, three variables including decrease in income level with 0.782, decrease in spring water discharge with 0.705 and migration with 0.766 percent had the most drought effects. In order to improve the livelihood and sustainability of the rural settlements, the use of dam water storage, development of horticultural system, training the farmers to diversify the rural occupations and jobs are some of the recommended solutions.