Drought “is not a temporary condition we can expect to go away, but rather something we have to deal with,” one expert said.
Water is increasingly scarce in the Western U.S. — where 72 percent of the region is in “severe” drought, 26 percent is in exceptional drought, and populations are booming.
Insufficient monsoon rains last summer and low snowpacks over the winter left states like Arizona, Utah and Nevada without the typical amount of water they need, and forecasts for the rainy summer season don’t show promise.
This year’s aridity is happening against the backdrop of a 20-year-long drought. The past two decades have been the driest or the second driest in the last 1,200 years in the West, posing existential questions about how to secure a livable future in the region.
It’s time to ask, “Is this a drought, or is it just the way the hydrology of the Colorado River is going to be?” said John Entsminger, the general manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority.