About the agency

In May 2020, the National Drought and North Queensland Flood Response and Recovery Agency assumed responsibility of the National Drought Map platform. Together with CSIRO’s Data61, we are working to improve the content and function to better suit our users.

The Agency works hand-in-hand with communities, all levels of government, charities and agricultural organisations to support farmers and other rural and regional Australians living through the immediate and longer-term effects of drought and flood.

Our aim is to ensure people and communities are given the support and information they need to be better prepared for droughts and floods, now and into the future. The National Drought Map helps users find a range of information on drought conditions and associated support measures in one useful platform.

About the National Drought Map

The National Drought Map provides access to spatial data from Australian government agencies. Data from State Governments and other organisations is also being incorporated. It is an initiative of the Australian Government to bring together information and inform decisions.

The Map:

  • Provides a framework of geospatial data services to support analysis, decision making, planning and reporting functions.

  • Provides a simple intuitive way to visualise spatial information from a standard data set.

  • Provides easy access to authoritative spatial data.

  • Facilitates the sharing of data from different sources and enhanced collaboration.

When you access data through the National Drought Map, you are typically accessing a range of data directly from different government departments or agencies. The departments and agencies are custodians of the data.

To see what data is available on the National Drought Map, refer to the Data Catalogue in the application. Click the Add data and select the Data Catalogue tab to see a list of all datasets currently available.

How to use the application

Just go to https://map.drought.gov.au. Most operations are obvious, but you can click the Help and FAQs https://map.drought.gov.au/help.html button embedded in the 'About Page'.  

How to identify areas in drought

The National Drought Map provides a range of data sources to help identify areas suffering from drought or dry conditions. The map does not identify areas in drought due to the complexities in differing climatic conditions and the range of farming practices.

To identify areas suffering from poor conditions the "Australian Landscape Water Balance" data set provided by the Bureau of Meteorology provides daily information on rainfall and soil moisture deficiencies.

For example using rainfall year to date you can identify those areas across the country that are experiencing significant rainfall deficiency.  This information can then be layered with available services or farming numbers to support response measures.

The Map does include the capability to include the NSW and Qld government identified drought regions. More information on the approach that NSW and Qld have taken is available when adding these layers to the map.

Contributing to the National Drought Map

If you are working on spatial datasets or producing them and you think they would be beneficial, you can contact the National Drought and North QLD Flood Response and Recovery Agency and suggest the inclusion in the Data Catalogue. nationaldroughtmap@droughtandflood.gov.au.

TerriaJS Software

The National Drought Map is supported by the TerriaJS software available as a [https://github.com/TerriaJS/terriajs] GitHub project. TerriaJS was initially developed by Data61 for the NationalMap, but has subsequently been used for other projects. It has been made available to assist with the development of spatial data viewing applications.

The TerriaJS software is licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"). You may not use the source code files except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0. Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.

Additional Open Source Software Used

In developing the mapping application, Data61 had used open source software and contributed back to it. The National Drought Map leverages these excellent open source libraries:

The complete list is available here

Data attribution

The content presented in National Drought Map is sourced from a wide range of organisations.

Data in the Catalogue

The datasets in the National Drought Map application catalogue are sourced from Commonwealth Governments Departments and Agencies, State, Territory and Local Governments and other organisations. Details about each data custodian and their contact details can be found in the catalogue, usually under "Data Custodian" or "Description".

Base Maps:

Australian Topography (https://data.gov.au/dataset/ds-ga-a37564a0-811d-497e-bf24-58704eea9f5c/details?q=australian%20topography) - © Commonwealth of Australia (Geoscience Australia) 2016. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) .\ Bing Maps (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/maps/)  - From Microsoft Corporation. Commercial Licence (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/maps/product).

Natural Earth II (https://www.naturalearthdata.com/downloads/10m-raster-data/10m-natural-earth-2/) - From Natural Earth. Public Domain (https://www.naturalearthdata.com/about/terms-of-use/).\ Black Marble (https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/features/NightLights) - From NASA's Earth Observatory. Use Policy (https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/image-use-policy).\ Positron (Light) and Dark Matter (https://carto.com/location-data-services/basemaps/) - From Carto. Commercial Licence (https://carto.com/location-data-services/basemaps/).


Cesium World Terrain (https://cesium.com/content/cesium-world-terrain/) - From Cesium Ion. Commercial License (https://cesium.com/legal/terms-of-service/).


G-NAF (https://data.gov.au/dataset/ds-dga-19432f89-dc3a-4ef3-b943-5326ef1dbecc/details) - Incorporates or developed using G-NAF ©PSMA Australia Limited licensed by the Commonwealth of Australia under the Open Geo-coded National Address File (G-NAF) End User Licence Agreement.\ Bing Maps (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/maps/) - From Microsoft Corporation.\ Gazetteer of Australia (https://ecat.ga.gov.au/geonetwork/srv/eng/catalog.search#/metadata/76695) - For Oficial Place Names. More Information (https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/fsdf.placenames/DPS/Composite+Gazetteer+DPS.pdf).

Terms & Conditions

The information displayed on the National Drought Map is for general informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide any commercial, financial, or legal advice. Any information in connection with the National Drought Map may not be appropriate to your individual needs. You must exercise your own independent, skill, care and judgment with respect to how you use the information displayed on the National Drought Map.

As a condition of using the National Drought Map, you must comply with all applicable laws, regulations and third party rights (including, without limitation, laws regarding the import or export of data or software, privacy and local laws). You must not use National Drought Map to encourage or promote illegal activity or violation of third party rights. Some parts of  the National Drought Map (like the URL shortening function) rely upon third party APIs.

In any important matter, you should seek professional advice relevant to your own circumstances.

CSIRO's Data61 ("We") make no representations or warranties regarding the accuracy or completeness of any content or the product in connection with the National Drought Map. We disclaim all responsibility and all liability (including without limitation, liability in negligence, for errors or omissions) for all expenses, loss, damage and costs which you might incur as a result of the information displayed on the National Drought Map and your use of it.

The National Drought Map must not be used for navigation or precise spatial analysis or for any activities where the use or failure of the National Drought Map could lead to death, personal injury, or environmental damage (such as the operating of nuclear facilities, air traffic control, or life support systems).


National Drought Map

The National Drought Map is an online tool that brings together information on drought conditions and associated support measures.

The National Drought Map visually displays information relevant to a particular area and can be used as a decision support tool. This includes rainfall patterns, soil moisture, agricultural types and employment by industries. In many cases and depending on the underlying data, data can be examined down to local government area.

Assistance for farmers, their families and rural communities

Farmers, their families and their communities can access a range of government services and support to help them manage during times of drought and prepare for future conditions. People are encouraged not to self-assess their individual situation, but to seek advice from an expert.

Visit https://farmhub.org.au/ to access such assistance.

Data available

The National Drought Map provides access to information which has been provided by various third party data custodians and websites. Data custodians have undertaken disclosure risk controls including aggregation, suppression and sparsity checks to protect from possible reasonable re-identification of personal information.

The Australian Government and CSIRO take reasonable care in linking websites but has no direct control over the content of the linked sites, nor the changes that may occur to the content on those sites.

When you access data through the National Drought Map, you are typically accessing a range of data directly from different government departments or agencies. The departments and agencies are custodians of the data.

You can provide feedback on the platform by clicking the tab on the bottom right of the map.

The platform is funded by the Australian Government and developed by CSIRO’s Data61.

Access to data

Any information provided by data custodians displayed on the National Drought Map is provided as is and on the understanding that the respective data custodian is not responsible for, nor guarantees the timeliness, accuracy or completeness of that information. If you intend to rely on any information displayed on the National Drought Map, then you must apply in writing to the respective data custodian for further authorisation.

You acknowledge that your use of the National Drought Map means that you have provided your acceptance of these terms and conditions.


The Commonwealth Government is covered by the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) ('the Privacy Act'). The Privacy Act contains 13 Australian Privacy Principles ('the APPs') which governs how Australian Government agencies should collect, use, store and disclose personal information, and how individuals can access records containing their personal information. General information about the Privacy Act and the APPs can be found on the website of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

The National Drought Map website complies with the Australian Information Commissioner APP Guidelines and with our APP Privacy Policy.

You are reminded that there are risks involved in sending information over the internet.

Any data collected by us as described in this notice is stored securely, and archived for a period of at least five years, and possible up to ten years.

Use and disclosure

We only use personal information that we collect through this website for the purposes for which it was given to us or for related purposes, such as the maintenance, upgrade or improvements of this website or any policy development associated with this website.

We do not share personal information about any individual which we collect through this website to any third party, such as other Australian Government agencies or organisations unless one of the following applies:

  • the individual has consented;

  • the individual would reasonably expect, or has been told that information of that kind is usually passed to those other individuals, agencies, organisations;

  • is required or authorised by law;

  • a Permitted General Situation (as defined under section 16A of the Privacy Act) exists (for example, it will prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to somebody's life or health); or

  • the disclosure is reasonably necessary for the enforcement of the criminal law or of a law imposing a pecuniary penalty, or for the protection of public revenue.

Information logged when browsing the National Drought Map

We do not collect personal information about you if you only browse this website.

When you browse this website, our server logs the following information:

  • the type of browser and operating system you are using;

  • the address of the referring site (for example, the previous site that you visited); and

  • your IP (Internet Protocol) address, which is a number unique to the machine on which you connect to the internet.

Our server also logs the following information:

  • the date and time of your visit; and

  • the address of the pages accessed and the documents downloaded.

We use the information we collect from your browsing of this website for statistical analysis, system administration, monitoring of this website's security, customisation of this website to users' needs, and the evaluation, research and development of this website.

In order to give you a better experience, we use a URL shortening service provided by a third party. That service may also track the clicks and referrers (sharers) of the Map.

No attempt will be made to identify users due to their browsing activities on this website, except in the unlikely event of an investigation, for example, where a law enforcement agency may exercise a warrant or subpoena. The information we collect from your browsing of this website will only be disclosed to a third party if it is required or authorised by law.


A cookie is an electronic token that is passed to your browser and your browser passes it back to the server whenever a page is sent to you.

For this website, our server creates a cookie that is used to keep track of the pages you have accessed. This cookie allows you to page back and forward through this website and return to pages you have already visited. This cookie exists only for the time that you are accessing our server.

Please note that some browsers can be configured to allow cookies to be accessed by servers other than the originating server. Most browsers can also be configured to notify the user when a cookie is received, allowing you to either accept or reject it. You do not need to have configured your browser to enable the accepting or sending of cookies in order to use this website.

toLowerCaseCookies are not used for any other purposes on this website, for example, we do not use cookies on this website to collect your personal information.

Online forms, email address and contact us

When using this website (for example, the online feedback function), you may provide us with your personal information, for example, your name and email address etc. When you do this, you agree to provide us with your consent to disclose your personal information to the Australian Government and potentially other appropriate third parties, depending on the data custodian, for example, the CSIRO's Data61, Geoscience Australia, Bureau of Meteorology, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Digital Transformation Agency, Department of Human Service, Department of Agriculture etc. so that we can appropriately respond to your request or query. You also agree to provide us with your consent to disclose your personal information for the administration, regulation and evaluation processes associated with this website or for related purposes such as any policy development associated with this website.

You have the right not to identify yourself or to use an alias (pseudonym) when you contact us or use online forms in relation to this website. However, where it is impractical for us to deal with your request in that way, or the law requires or authorise us to collect your personal information, then we may require you to identify yourself.


The search terms that you enter when using this website's search engine are collected so that we can find out what users are looking for on this website.

This website contains links to other websites for the attribution of the data source or may use social media sites to make it easy to share information. These other sites may use web measurement tools, customisation technologies and persistent cookies to inform the services that they provide to their users. We are not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of other sites. This website does not use, maintain or share Personally Identifiable Information made through the other websites, such as, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube etc.