Drought

USA Drought Situation - 1934





Drought Situation -

 

Lack of rainfall for an extended period of time affects crops, causes wells and springs to dry up, and lakes to diminish through water use, evaporation, stream flow .  The results of these situations is that we have to stop washing our cars, discontinue watering of lawns, flowers, and shrubs, start water conservation via personal actions, new stepped water use rates, rebate plans, loss of landscape jobs and projects, loss or reduced crop yields, and backlogs of business for well digging companies.  

As the water table drops and springs dry up, wildlife and birdlike began moving resulting in increased observations and increased numbers of road kills and decreased flows water flows for some spring-supplied communities .  This is a good time to provide a water source for wildlife as they need water just like us.  As the plant, shrubs, and trees are faced with continued drought conditions, the potential for wildfires and forest fires similar to the recent California wildfire increases and reduces the ability for fire fighting organization to combat the fires.  Extreme care must be used to prevent the start of fires as these fires could sweep through entire subdivisions or communities.  

As the situation worsens, the lower levels of the community supply lakes will exceed the capability of the community water treatment facilities to completely treat the water and the quality of well water may also deteriorate.  At first, low immune groups of the population must switch to other water sources, such as bottled water.  Later the situation will deteriorate further to where the entire population will have to switch to other water sources for drinking and cooking.  Likewise there will be a tremendous economic impact on the area as the lack of water results in job losses in primary markets and then secondary markets such as groceries, drug stores, gas stations, and other service organizations. 

1930's Dust Bowl

There are many stories about the Midwest dust storms, lack of water, and of farmers having to abandon their farms and moving elsewhere. By 1934, about sixty-five percent of the United States (see below) was in severe to extreme drought. Countless crops and livestock were damaged or destroyed by drought, high temperatures, and high winds, and many people in what came to be known as the Dust Bowl (an area of the Plains that included parts of Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico) faced severe hardships. Although the worst of the agricultural problems were in the Plains, the drought's effects were felt throughout the United States.  

Droughts are a normal part of life in the Great Plains.  Many droughts are short-term and may only affect small areas, but multiple-year droughts like the Dust Bowl of the 1930's are relatively common as well.  In 2002, Nebraska experienced its third driest year on record and lost more than one billon dollars in crop losses.  Mountain snows in Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana that provide water and fill reservoirs along the Platte and Missouri Rivers have been low for several years.    

Georgia Environmental Protection Division-DNR 
Conserve Water Georgia! 
NOAA: What is a drought? 
NOAA Drought Info Center