Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Rao Govindaraju

Committee Member 1

Indrajeet Chaubey

Committee Member 2

Dev Niyogi

Committee Member 3

Venkatesh Merwade


The current practice of drought declaration (US Drought Monitor) provides a hard classification of droughts using various hydrologic variables. However, this method does not yield model uncertainty, and is very limited for forecasting upcoming droughts. The primary goal of this thesis is to develop and implement methods that incorporate uncertainty estimation into drought characterization, thereby enabling more informed and better decision making by water users and managers. Probabilistic models using hydrologic variables are developed, yielding new insights into drought characterization enabling fundamental applications in droughts.