US Drought: Citizens set to ‘run out of water’ as drought and wildfires intensify | Science | News

Scorching heatwaves across the United States have contributed to massive wildfires, and to make matters worse the dry weather has also led to extreme droughts.

Large chunks of the country are now facing dire times due to the droughts.

According to – the official monitor of droughts in the US – 10 states are facing “extreme” or “exceptional” droughts, the highest categories in the ranking system.

The website says “drought are affecting substantial areas of western Oklahoma, eastern Kansas, Texas, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Missouri and southern California”.

There are also severe droughts present in eastern Oregon, Oklahoma, southern Iowa, southern Arkansas, northern Louisiana, North Dakota and South Dakota.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: “Abnormal dryness and drought are affecting over 131 million people across the United States.”

As a result, many farmers are on the brink of “financial ruin” due to their inability to grow crops.

Mark Fuchs, hydrologist for the National Weather Service, said: “That isolated nature really hurts some corn growers because they’re competing against other farmers in the Midwest that have had bumper crops.

“That puts a lot of them on the brink of financial ruin.”

Ryan Gordon, a hydrogeologist with the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry, told the Digital Journal: “People are starting to run out of water.”

On top of the drought, the US is battling against raging wildfires across the country.

US authorities said there are more than 100 major wildfires burning across the country currently, including three of the biggest in Californian history.

So far the infernos have scorched more than 3.3 million acres, according to the US National Interagency Coordination Centre.

Experts say droughts are exacerbating the situation.

Peter Brown, director of Rocky Mountain Tree-Ring Research in Fort Collins, Colorado, told Reuters: “We’re in a global (temperature) change drought.”

National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) spokeswoman Jennifer Jones added: “We’re not calling it a fire season anymore, we’re referring to a fire year.”

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