Do you ever wonder what happens during a drought?
Most of the country has been warned against the severe drought being experienced, especially those in California and Texas. The drought is so bad that legal action has had to be taken to prevent egregious water wastage and increase efficiency and conservation efforts statewide. But why are droughts so bad? What damage is really caused by a lack of water?
- Economic Impacts – Economic impacts surprise many people that don’t consider how important water is to various industries. Most obvious is the suffering of farms and farmers. Farmers may lose entire seasons of crops altogether, ranchers spend more money getting food and water to livestock and regulations keep both from producing as much as they normally would. Timber workers are often faced with vast wildfires that destroy much of their timber. Fisherman and fishing companies may have to stop completely if lakes dry up and large numbers of fish die.
- Environmental Impacts – Lakes and rivers will dry up completely and some are currently in the worst states they’ve ever been. This doesn’t just kill the large fish, but all aquatic life. In fact, a lack of water also affects the land animals that rely on it for food and water. Entire habitats are destroyed when these bodies of water dry up and wildlife is forced to die off or migrate to other areas.
- Social Impacts – Droughts affect the health and safety of people regardless of how often they even think about the current water conditions. When climates are drier, dust storms increase and health problems related to them also rise.
Not only do droughts decrease the amount of total water available, they lower the quality of the water and various health issues have been related to this change. An increase in fires directly endanger citizens and loss of farms and other industries create job losses, causing people financial suffering.
Regardless of how you think a drought does or doesn’t affect you, the issues are present and real. The California and Texas droughts have lead to severe problems in all of these categories and while Texas has seen some improvement, California is in an emergency. Water education, conservation and efficiency are the only options we have when it comes to handling and preventing these severe droughts and are essential for the health and safety of humans and animals alike.