This work presents the development of a composite Index of Susceptibility to Drought (ISD) for semiarid Brazilian Northeast that considers climatology, physical properties, soil usage, social and economic aspects, the risk of harvest losses and the shortage of human and animal drinking water. The index started with the Index FUNCEME of drought Severity (IFS), developed by FUNCEME. Then, it evolved to use some tools proposed by the Joint Research Centre/Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (JRC/OECD), as well as techniques of multiple imputation for missing data and data winsorization. The work was tested and validated with real data from Rio Grande do Norte State in three climatologic scenarios (dry, regular and rainy). A multivariate analysis test and a Monte Carlo simulation were also produced for a sensibility and strength analysis of the developed model. These analyses validated the composition model and the obtained results with real data. The ISD can be used as a tool to support decision makers in various government levels to help guide the actions for the drought-affected areas.
drought index; composite indicators; Semiarid Brazilian Northeast