US Water Supplies Threatened by Worsening Droughts

New ways to preserve water supplies are necessary to combat severe U.S. drought conditions.
California drought
States on the West Coast are enduring severe droughts, including California, which is entering its fourth year in a drought, according to the Homeland Security News Wire.|Photo by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration via Wikimedia Commons

Droughts in the United States, primarily impacting the West Coast, are leading to a severe water supply shortage, according to a Homeland Security News Wire article. With droughts having both environmental and economic impacts, alternative ways to save endangered water supplies are necessary.

The Homeland Security News Wire reported:

The most prevalent model for water resource preservation is that of New York City’s Catskills/Delaware watershed, which is based on upstream resource users being paid to avoid harmful practices that might affect water flows and water quality, typically by beneficiaries who are downstream. These market-based approaches (also known as Payments for Watershed or Ecosystem Services) have been widely promoted, but risk neglecting alternative approaches that do not always require monetary transactions to improve environmental outcomes.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration published a map highlighting drought conditions across the U.S., which shows much of the West Coast being affected by severe, extreme and exceptional drought conditions.

U.S. Drought Monitor map

The Homeland Security News Wire reported that there is a more than 80 percent chance of the Southwest and central Great Plains entering a “megadrought” — a drought lasting 35 or more years — by 2100 if climate change projections do not improve.

To read Homeland Security News Wire’s full article, visit For more information on drought conditions in the U.S., visit

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