Ongoing drought is causing a Western water crisis
The latest drought monitor has been released and it shows how extreme heat has plagued the majority of the U.S.
From the Great Plains all the way to the southeast, you can see how drought conditions have increased on the map. Precipitation was lacking in many locations this week, causing abnormal dryness to pop up in the Mississippi and Ohio valleys. Below normal temperatures brought some improvements to the Pacific Northwest. The four corners region experienced a monsoon, but conditions are so dry that the weather event will need to persist for conditions to improve.
As the drought continues to worsen in the West, Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon wants the federal government to do more to address the water crisis. He says conditions in the Klamath Basin, where farms and tribes are without water and residential wells are running dry, have never been this bad.
“Drought conditions have been so bad in Central Oregon that for 18 straight months, the primary source of irrigation water for Jefferson County, set record lows for months-end contents.”
Senator Wyden says the bipartisan infrastructure law does commit more than $8 billion for western water. The Bureau of Reclamation says it has hired 80 people so it can quickly distribute that money.