What weather trends could be the root of the Western water crisis?

The drought continues to take a toll on much of the western U.S. and the region’s water supplies.

Water levels in Lake Mead have dropped to the lowest level since the Hoover Dam was built in the 1930s. You can see the difference in this comparison shared on Twitter. The left shows the water level in 1983, while the right shows the drastic difference seen last year, and conditions are now worse.

Millions of people in Arizona, California, and Nevada are now at risk to have no power, including farmers and ranchers. USDA Meteorologist, Brad Rippey, says reoccurring trends may be behind this shortage and can be seen on the drought monitor since it was established in 1979.

“In the last two decades plus, we have seen about three out of four years on average from California to the Southern Rockies as drought years, and with that string of drier than normal years, that has put a severe strain on western water supplies.”

Additional factors impacting weather trends include above-average temperatures and diminishing soil moisture levels.


Ongoing drought is causing a Western water crisis

Senate ag leaders address the Western water crisis

Farmers feel the pinch of tight hay supplies due to drought

USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey says we are heading into spring rather quickly and ahead of schedule, which could have negative implications for small grains and blooming fruit crops.
U.S. pork exports could outpace both chicken and beef shipments in the coming decade.
A new survey shows the national economic impact of the equine industry last year, adding an additional $55 billion to the U.S. economy in 2023 than in 2022.
Iowa lawmakers are asking the U.S. Education Dept. for clarity on a new FAFSA question asking students to list family farm assets, which could reduce their grant.
Texas A&M‘s Ag & Food Policy Chief, Dr. Joe Outlaw, predicts lawmakers may not draft a new Farm Bill until 2025, missing the first deadline by nearly two years.
According to Tom Perez, Senior Advisor to the President, more Americans are enrolled in the Affordable Connectivity Program than those receiving SNAP benefits.