The American West is drying out

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Things will turn ugly, says psychoanalyst Zachary B. Wolf, CNN. This stunning photo of American West lands depicts the impacts of climate change-induced drought.

The US administration is probably set to proclaim the first-ever water scarcity along the Colorado River later this year. More than a quarter of the United States is under severe drought, highlighting the breadth of a decades-long drought. Across the West, reports of probable rationing, impending limits, and looming standoffs between farmers and the government over the most valuable natural resource are circulating.

States like Arizona and Nevada are very certain to have their water supply from the Colorado River reduced, which would hit farmers first due to a convoluted drought contingency tier structure agreed upon by states in 2019. However, there are warning signals for metropolitan regions and neighboring states to conserve and evolve. Residents in the San Francisco Bay Area, which is supplied by a separate water system, are being encouraged to cut their water use by 15% in comparison to 2019. Because of the low water level, houseboats were evacuated from the state’s second-largest reservoir. Due to low water levels, the hydroelectric facility at the same reservoir may be forced to shut down for the first time.

To the north, in Oregon, a battle rages between farmers who are unable to irrigate their potatoes due to a lack of water and federal officials attempting to rescue an endangered fish species. The heat and drought have had the most apparent and stunning effect on Lake Mead, which is at its lowest level since it was filled during the construction of the Hoover Dam in the 1930s. Less snowfall and more evaporation due to high temperatures have taken their toll over the years, with the reservoir dropping more than 140 feet since 2000 and sitting at less than a third of its capacity.

While politicians are eager to find a way to spend money on infrastructure as long as they don’t raise taxes, Republicans refuse to do anything about climate change, which is contributing to the drought. The current drought map reveals that 88 percent of the country’s Western region is in some shade of red, while the East is virtually completely unaffected. The next rainfall forecast is as bleak, implying that there will be no respite in the West. There will be repercussions, notwithstanding the grim forecasts of climate refugees fleeing sections of the nation that become too hot or drier, or the disintegration of water sharing systems and agreements, which are based on a larger view of water and drought.


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