Conserve water, the new water norm is we are either moving into a drought or out of a drought. (For all baseball fans out there, this is like hitting – You are either coming out of a slump or heading into a slump.) In early February several red flag warnings indicate we are moving quickly into a drought. We need to take notice of these signs and act quickly to avoid a near-term water crisis.
Conserve Water: Snowpack Data
The Western snowpack and water supply conditions coming from the United States Department of Agriculture are alarming. Most of the state of Arizona had multiple months with no measurable precipitation. Snowpack ranged from 0% to 6% of normal. Colorado experienced above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation and snowpack accumulation. Statewide the snowpack is 54% of median, this is near record low levels. Utah’s snowpack is 51% of normal and much more dry in the south than the north. California’s February snowpack data shows statewide the levels are 27% of normal.
Conserve Water: Temperatures
Temperatures in parts of the west were 20 degrees above normal in January. This trend for higher temperatures in the West is predicted for the rest of the winter and spring.
Conserve Water: Day Zero
‘Day Zero’ is the name given to the day the city of Cape Town in South Africa water taps are expected to run dry. Today ‘Day Zero’ is in the range of April 16 – May 11. The day was pushed back from April 1 due to reduced agricultural water use. Cape Town is the second-most populous city in South Africa. The city of Cape Town metropolitan municipality serves a population of 3.74 million people.
Conserve Water: Drought Monitor
The U.S. Drought Monitor for the west shows 73% of the Western United States is abnormally dry. This is compared to 29% in the West last year at this time.
Conserve Water: U.S. Government Borrowing
The U. S. government is going to borrow almost $1 trillion this year, an 84% jump from last year and we don’t see any details for improvements in water infrastructure. In fact, the policy today is calling for more privatization of water.
These are not the only red flag warnings seen, but they are the most concerning. I am sure you have spotted a few yourself, and we would love to hear about them in the comments section below. Remember, the good news is there is still time to prepare and be proactive in our response to make the effects of the drought less on ourselves and the industry.