Regional evaluation of drought characteristics provides critical information for water resource management. In this case, this study attempts to analyze the probability behaviors of drought events of a given severity in the Pearl River Basin and to construct severity-area-frequency curves of drought events. Due to possible impacts of complicated topographical properties and diverse climate types within the Pearl River Basin, the entire Pearl River Basin is subdivided into different homogeneous regions. In general, the Pearl River Basin can be categorized into four homogeneous regions, and the severity-area-frequency analysis results for the short-, medium- and long-term drought episodes within each homogeneous regions indicate stressful challenge for the water resource management in the Pearl River Basin due to the fact that severe droughts usually occur over the entire Pearl River Basin. Meanwhile, the Pearl River Delta will face a higher risk of drought when compared to other regions of the Pearl River Basin in terms of the medium-term drought. The Pearl River Basin is highly economically development and is heavily populated, thus impacts of droughts and related resilience resolutions or policies should be taken into account in the formulation of regional sustainable development of water resources and socio-economy within the Pearl River Basin, China.
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