Monitoring of droughts is the first step into human adaptation and related management of drought hazards. Therefore, drought index is critical in drought monitoring practice. However, the standing drought indices include no information about agricultural irrigation. In this case, based on the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) and the Self-Calibrating Palmer Drought Severity Index (sc-PDSI), here we proposed the Modified Palmer Drought Severity Index (MPDSI) by considering agricultural irrigation such as irrigation quotas and soil water deficits. We compared changes of droughts monitored by MPDSI and other drought indices considered in this study, and found that MPDSI can well monitor drought conditions in irrigated regions. In this sense, MPDSI can monitor the actual drought conditions under human influences such as irrigation. Besides, we also found that MPDSI can well lessen overestimation of drought conditions by PDSI in terms of drought duration and drought intensity. Therefore, we can conclude that MPDSI can be accepted in drought monitoring practice across China. It should be noted here that the idea behind development of MPDSI and also the MDPSI proposed in this study can be well referenced in drought monitoring in other regions of the globe.
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