Why do Drought Conditions Matter?
Below, we'll explore some of the main reasons why water conservation is critical, both for our own health and for the health of the planet.
1. Droughts are becoming more common.
According to the National Drought Mitigation Center, "droughts have increased in frequency and severity over the last three decades." This is largely due to climate change; as temperatures rise, evaporation rates increase, leading to drier conditions. What's more, droughts are often followed by periods of intense rainfall, which can lead to flooding. As a result, it's more important than ever to conserve water during periods of drought so that we don't end up using even more water than necessary when rains do come.
2. Droughts lead to water shortages.
Water shortages are one of the most immediate effects of drought conditions. When there isn't enough water to go around, it can lead to rationing, which can impact both businesses and consumers alike. In addition, water shortages can lead to an increased risk of wildfires, as was the case in California in 2019. By conserving water during droughts, we can help mitigate some of these risks.
3. Droughts impact agricultural production.
Agriculture is one of the largest consumers of water worldwide; in fact, it accounts for roughly 70% of all freshwater withdrawals each year. Droughts can have a significant impact on agricultural production; in 2012, for example, a severe drought led to a decrease in crop yields and an increase in food prices. By conserving water during periods of drought, we can help reduce the impact on agriculture and minimize disruptions to the food supply chain.
Droughts are becoming more common and more intense due to climate change, making water conservation more important than ever before. Water shortages can lead to rationing and an increased risk of wildfires; furthermore, droughts can also disrupt agricultural production and impact the food supply chain. Conserving water during periods of drought is critical for mitigating these risks and preserving our most precious natural resource for future generations.