Dry weather continues to make the U.S. quench for thirst

The latest drought monitor was released today and it shows some much needed rainfall was received in the High Plains.

The region recorded two to seven inches which boosted soil moisture levels from Kansas to South Dakota. Florida and the southeast also received precipitation. The northeast remained drought free for the most part. On the West Coast, California and the southwest continued their record dryness with strong winds.

Demand for water in California is out pacing supply. The water district in the southern part of the state has declared an emergency for areas that rely on the State Water Project which serves more than six million people. Outdoor watering is restricted to one day a week and people are asked to cut their use up to 30%.

The drought is also impacting water levels on the Colorado River. Utah State University put together this time lapse showing the falling water levels at Lake Powell. The Bureau of Reclamation announced unprecedented measures to boost water levels at the artificial reservoir. It’s so low it could put electricity in danger in seven western states. The bureau will release more than 160 million gallons of water in the lake from other reservoirs. To put that number into perspective, 326,000 gallons is only enough to supply one or two households for a year.

Related:

Drought continues to plague much of the U.S.

Price Tag of California’s Extended Drought

No Drought Relief in Sight for South Dakota