Anantapur is the second most drought-effected district in India. The region always received very low rainfall but extensive deforestation and destruction of natural resources in the recent decades have played a big role in turning this district into an arid region. The landscape that I saw from the bus consisted of undulating hills, mostly dry and dotted with shrubs.
The region was once home to forests. Anantapur was the summer capital of the king, Krishnadevaraya. While it always received less rainfall, the communities of yore had developed systems to utilize their natural resources in a responsible manner. Several tanks constructed from this era irrigated the region and were in use till a few decades back. These commons were once managed by community institutions but in the recent decades, due to uncontrolled use of resources, the forests that once provided valuable resources to the people are gone.