What a difference a year makes. In Texas and Oklahoma, a year can almost put an end to the drought that has ravaged those states for years. One year ago, 90% of Texas was experiencing some level of drought, and exceptional drought covered approximately 25% of the state according to the US Drought Monitor. Oklahoma also experienced a similar turnaround. One year ago, some level of drought covered 94% of Oklahoma and exceptional drought covered 26.47% of the Sooner State. However, the rain deluge and the devastating floods that accompanied the rain have almost completely alleviated the drought conditions in both states. Continue reading
Looking at a map of the current drought conditions in the United States, it is clear to see which areas of the country are facing critical drought conditions. The western drought, particularly in California has received the most media attention. Parts of Oregon and Nevada are also facing extreme and exceptional drought conditions. Getting less attention though is the drought conditions happening in parts of Texas and Oklahoma. Oklahoma, in particular the areas along the border with Texas have faced drought conditions for the last 2-3 years. Storms in this region over the last few months began to loosen the grip of drought in the area, but the lingering effects of long-term drought will take more than a few major rainstorms to reverse the crippling drought that this region has faced for the last few years.
Oklahoma and California on paper have very different political views, but each state faces very similar issues regarding the drought. What struck me in researching this article is how progressive Oklahoma’s ambitious Water for 2060 Bill is to tackle water sustainability in the future. In this piece, I will explore the similarities between the drought conditions in both states, both states’ response to the drought, and what both can do to plan for prolonged drought conditions in the future. Continue reading
Last week, I wrote a post about how water politics helped to shape the primary elections in Nebraska. Nebraska, like many areas in the Western and Midwestern United States is facing a prolonged drought. The drought has an effect on everything from fracking policies to the prices that you pay in the grocery store. In today’s world, we are more inter-connected than ever – a change or a hiccup in one region or market can quickly have ripple effects in another area. We have to look no further than the housing crisis that led to the recession in 2008 for an example of this phenomenon. A crash in the US housing market caused much more global pain due to the incredible interconnectivity our modern financial systems have. The water industry and related fields such as agriculture and oil services are no different. Drought in one part of the world (namely the Western United States) can have a dramatic effect on policies and the prices of everything from groceries to oil. In this piece, I will focus on the drought in the Midwestern United States, and why we should care about its effects. Continue reading