I don’t have any use for this yet, but I’m toying with a new (to me) concept:
Flood integrates; drought fragments.
A co-worker stopped by my office to ask what integrated drought management would be, and I couldn’t answer him. Flood integrates everything, it seems like. It integrates everything on the path it touches, at least. You can address flood by improving soil absorption on mountainsides, by improving reservoir operations, by fixing levees, by fixing land use, by collecting stormwater. Pull any thread in flood, and everything on the landscape twitches. To deal with floods, you have to work with everyone up and downstream of you.
Drought, though. Seems like drought just creates islands. One way to deal with drought is to scale back, retreat and abandon marginal areas. Drought makes agencies accuse their neighbors of coveting their water.
I hate metaphors; think they’re dangerous. I’m not sure this is a valid conceptualization anyway. But I’m still pondering it.