Arizona and California Drought

Gabe Rentfrow, MVC writer

In the past two years, the United State’s southwestern region has been experiencing a severe drought. Reservoirs are losing water, and many states in the southwest are on major water restrictions. If the problem continues, the United States could have a crisis on its hands.

Since 1994, Arizona and southeastern California have been in a drought. Droughts in that area mean eight or more consecutive years of little to no rainfall. The reservoir levels from Lake Powell have changed from 88 percent in 1999 to 26.6 percent in December of 2022, and Lake Mead has shrunk even more drasticallydrastically, going from 96 in 1999 percent to 22.6 percent in 2022. 

This decrease in water supply has had extreme effects in the US. First, there have been major water restrictions in Arizona and California areas, only letting people use down to 19 percent of their usual water supply, meaning that people only get a limited amount of water before it shuts off. Second, construction in some areas in Arizona has been halted due to the fact that there is a significantly smaller amount of groundwater than there was supposed to be, so they can’t build stable foundations in the area. Third, crop farming in the Arizona area has been having some serious problems in the past couple years. Arizona farmers have seen up to a 74 percent decrease in crop harvest.

In total, the drought has had devastating effects in the southwest. Crops have decreased, water levels in reservoirs have shrunk drastically, and people in those areas have even less access to water than usual.