According to scientists, a multi-year “super-drought” has arisen in the southwestern United States, and this year is by far the worst year of the “super-drought” so far. If things do not improve dramatically soon, a massive agricultural disaster will occur.
Meteorologists at BAMWX discovered that the moisture deficit for early June 2021 is the highest it’s been in two decades. Surface soil moisture is the water that is in the upper 4 inches and available for various types of plants.
Agricultural monitoring, drought and flood forecasting, forest fire prediction, and water supply management rely on soil moisture. Soil moisture observations can foretell impending drought.
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, well over half the state is now experiencing “severe drought.”
“There’s districts throughout California that have experienced up to 95% reductions in water,” says Fresno County Farm Bureau CEO Ryan Jacobsen.
According to forecasts issued by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Lake Mead, the country’s largest reservoir and an essential water supply for millions across the Southwest, might reach its lowest levels since it was filled in the 1930s later this year.
Farmers on the Oregon-California border recently learned that water levels are so low that they will only receive “a minuscule fraction of the water they require” in 2021.
According to new U.S. government forecasts, drought, climate change, and overuse have caused a critical reservoir on the Colorado River to drop to historically low levels, which could result in significant water restrictions in some states as early as next year.
Ernest Conant, regional director of the Bureau of Reclamation, California-Great Basin region, the federal agency that manages dams, canals, and water allocations in the Western U.S., said, “We simply don’t have enough water to supply our agricultural users.
“We’re hopeful some water can be moved sooner than October, but there are no guarantees.”
Oregon’s governor said the region’s extended drought has her office’s complete attention, and she’s working with congressional delegations, the White House, and federal agencies to provide relief for those affected.
The first few months of this year were the driest in 126 years in North Dakota.
Around 70% of North Dakota is under “extreme drought,” with the rest in the only slightly less concerning “severe drought” category.
Farmers are beginning to face difficult decisions about planting and culling herds after the state’s governor declared a statewide drought crisis on April 8.
Soil moisture levels across the state, especially in western North Dakota, are insufficient to support normal crop development growth.
Soil moisture shortages might cause crops to dry out and become more sensitive to pests. Short-term droughts can harm crops, especially during vital times of growth, such as after planting or blossoming.
If the drought persists, crop yields could come in below estimates this year and result in elevated agricultural prices.