77% of the Western US region has fallen victim to the summer megadrought. It is expected that the dangerous dry spell will worsen and may affect over 50% of the United States of America’s landmass in the upcoming months.
Expert reports note that the drought conditions could significantly strain America’s water supplies, not forgetting the detrimental effects on the country’s environmental conditions like increasing the frequencies of wildfires this summer.
This is the first time in two decades that the West has seen a severe drought category considering the National Drought Mitigation Center’s records.
There are reports from the National Weather Service revealing that the Western region is already facing immense water shortages with warnings that the dry spell and its associated effects will pile up moving forward.
States Such as New Mexico and Nevada May See Drought Issues
New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Nevada, and Arizona are the hardest-hit states. These five states have been experiencing persistent severe to exceptional drought conditions since 2020. National Weather Service’s reports attributed the stifled precipitation regime in these Western States to the ongoing La Nina and summer monsoon conditions.
What is Going On With These Droughts?
In essence, a La Nina season will be characterized by cooler than normal sea surface temperatures, particularly in the eastern and central tropical Pacific Ocean. The resulting weather patterns impose a northern pushing effect that diverts precipitation and storm away from the landmass.
A similar drought reported in California only ended in 2017. The severe weather conditions led to groundwater depletion, overuse of water in agricultural activities. In particular, families faced the adversities of having to sink deeper-than normal wells, which cost lots of dollars.
It is expected that the current drought conditions will cause massive losses and economic fallouts as farmers will be forced to let their agricultural lands lie unattended to and significant drops in the levels of electricity production and supply from dams.
There is a likelihood that millions of trees will die if the drought conditions continue at the current trend. This will fuel large-scale wildfires like those experienced in the Western Region in the summer season in 2017. These are the real effects of climate change at work.
Drought Is Present in Europe As Well
Recent reports indicate that severe droughts are present in the European continent as well. For instance, different data points note that various parts of Europe have not had such conditions over the past 2200 years. As such, these reports indicate that there are various pressing matters to deal with today and in the coming years to preserve overall quality of life.
Recent studies found that “droughts in particular, which are becoming more frequent, are also becoming more and more intense: “the most severe events become disproportionately more severe.”
Indeed the level and severity of droughts are concerning in an era where growth is a necessity and the human population continues to grow at a gradual rate. It is a pressing matter as more consume water, electricity, and participate in other activities that require the utilization of freshwater.