Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Western United States faces ‘mega-drought’

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According to the latest data from the US Department of Agriculture, more than 20% of the land in the western states of the country is classified as experiencing extreme or exceptional drought. Blame it on the vagaries of the climate, but also on human activity and the overuse of water for agriculture.

The conclusion is clear. According to the Department of Agriculture, the drought in the western United States during the summer of 2021 exceeded all past droughts in the region since 2000. And it could be worse this year 2022. The conditions drought conditions are most severe in the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Montana and New Mexico. This year again, the inhabitants of these States will have to reduce their water consumption. Lakes Powell and Mead, which feed Nevada, Arizona and California, thanks to dams that hold back water from Colorado, are at their lowest. With global warming, the snow cover of the mountains is thinner, the level of the Colorado River is therefore lower and the reservoirs no longer fill. This represents a danger for the very many farms in California, established in places already not conducive to intensive agriculture. “These dams meant that we were able to get through temporary droughts, one or two dry years with not enough snow. But here we have reached the limits of the development of the American West,” explains David Blanchon, a specialist in drought phenomena in the southwestern United States. It is a file ofAnaelle Larue.

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