Comprehending Drought

Rivers of Drought by Shane Townsend, a former Campaign Consultation team member, examines Texas’ significant drought conditions, and with it, community responses to water usage, including:

  • Homeowners contemplating water preservation vs. lawn and community aesthetics
  • Ranchers importing hay from Mississippi
  • Fishing Guides turned Arborists to tend to drought-stricken trees
  • Government officials fighting for funds to protect the state’s water resources

Townsend’s article makes me think:  Drought – it is a word for which I understand the severity, but not a state where I realize the direct impact.

What I found is this:  Drought covers the Midwest and extends through to the West Coast – where moderate to exceptional drought covers 45 percent of the United States:

U.S. Drought Monitor

But what does this really mean?  What are the Economic, Environmental and Social impacts of drought across the United States, in communities and in your life?

Economic Impacts:  drought costs people money

  • Farmers and Ranchers lose money when drought destroys their crops – spending more on irrigation and new wells to feed and water their animals
  • Businesses depending on Farmers, Ranchers and Fisherman, to buy their tractors, boats and other supplies, lose business when drought impacts their customer base
  • Power and water companies have to spend more money on fuel and additional supplies
  • Customers – you and me – have to pay more for food and services necessary to produce food

Dought for Dummies
Environmental Impacts:  plants and animals depend on water

By Crane Station

By Crane Station

  • Loss or destruction of fish, wildlife and wetlands
  • More wildfires
  • Increase in disease in wild animals because of reduced food and water
  • Increased stress on endangered species, or even extinction
  • Poor soil quality for farmers and individuals alike

Social Impacts:  drought affects peoples’ health and safety

  • Reduced income, with or without anxiety/depression due to economic losses
  • Health problems related to low or poor water quality
  • Forest fires threating public safety
  • Loss of human life
  • Fewer recreational activities


How has drought impacted your life?  Have you noticed an increase in your grocery bill?  Are your favorite fruits and vegetables as readily available as they have been in previous years?  Are you able to participate in your chosen summer activities?

Townsend reports that despite drought conditions, “there’s water enough in Texas for paddling,” his favorite pastime.

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In my role as Project Specialist, I manage numerous virtual trainings and in-person meetings with an excellent track record of organizing and executing seamless events. I am a Wide Angle Youth Media Board Member, a non-profit organization that provides Baltimore youth with media education to their own stories, and serve as the Business Advisory Committee Chair. Read more.

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