Demand for water is increasing continually, whereas available supplies are more or less constant. Under these circumstances there is an urgent need to introduce efficient techniques in water resources management for optimal utilization of available water. Water management under drought conditions assumes great importance in a tropical region such as India, where one-third of the cropped area is affected by frequent droughts. This paper deals with the development and application of an expert system for drought management. A linear programming model was used to generate optimal cropping patterns from past drought experiences as also from synthetic drought occurrences. These policies together with the knowledge of the experts were incorporated in an expert system. Using this, one can identify the degree of drought in the current situation and its similarity to the identified drought events and be able to get the corresponding management strategy. © ASCE.