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Drought tends to be a creeping phenomenon occurs gradually with the deficiency in rainfall further extending its impact on sectors which are dependent on water. The drought characteristics were analysed in Parambikulam Aliyar Project (PAP) basin based on the European Centre for Medium range Weather Forecasts Interim Reanalysis (ERA-Interim) gridded data with resolution of 0.125° ×0.125° during 1981-2017. Reconnaissance Drought Index (RDI) was applied for monitoring the drought. The variables used in RDI are rainfall and potential evapotranspiration (ETo), the required meteorological data were taken from the ERA Interim dataset and ETo was calculated using Penman-Monteith method. RDI indicated that 41% of the time had drought condition over 37 years. Two years (1982 and 2012) faced severe drought across all the parts of the PAP basin and the highest number of mild drought events were observed than the other drought conditions in PAP basin. Results showed that Plain areas in PAP basin experienced maximum number of drought events compared to the other areas in PAP basin during the investigation period.
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