During the period 14 – 17 April 2021, Assist. Prof. Behrin Shopova conducted a field work in the town of Omurtag and its region. The study was focused upon the impact of water shortages on the quality of life, migration processes and culture of the local population, diverse in ethnic and religious origin. A research in archives and regulations study followed the long-term history of this disaster overcoming attempts. Meetings with municipality representatives and with several families left in the region, but with their children living abroad, were also held.
Preliminary results of the study were presented at the International Hybrid Conference “ETHNOGRAPHY OF DISASTERS”, which took place on 11-12 May 2021, with a paper on “Water Shortage as a Disaster (following the examples of Omurtag and region)”. The impact of water shortages on human mobility and severe depopulation was discussed. Social and cultural models for dealing with the disaster were presented, both among the permanent inhabitants and the temporarily returned migrants.