Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Top 10 U.S. Cities Running Out of Water

Climate
Top 10 U.S. Cities Running Out of Water

Even as we watch the stunning footage of an overwhelmed Detroit drowning under massive rainfall, U.S. Drought Monitor shows other regions of the country parched and longing for more water. The organization releases weekly maps tracking the extent of drought in the U.S., ranking regions on five levels: "abnormally dry," "moderate drought," "severe drought," "extreme drought" and "exceptional drought."

Its current map documents a huge swath of the western U.S., extending as far east as Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska, suffering from drought conditions. It also shows patches of South, Midwest, upper Great Lakes region and even New England having a drier than normal summer, covering more than a third of the continental U.S.

But the areas of "exceptional drought," the highest category, are localized in four states. California is by far the hardest hit, with 58 percent of the state under "exceptional drought" and 82 percent in the two highest categories. Nevada, Oklahoma and Texas also have patches of "exceptional" drought, surrounded by a sea of less intense drought.

So it's not surprising that all of its top ten cities with a severe water shortage are in California, located mostly in its fertile Central Valley growing region. Bakersfield, which has seen explosive growth in the last 40 years, tops the list with 90 percent of the city under "exceptional drought." Unlike most of the other cities in the top 10, it has enacted no water restrictions. The other cities in order of the severity of drought are Hanford, Salinas, Gilroy-Morgan Hill, Santa Maria, Merced, Santa Cruz, Madera, Visalia and Fresno.

With these cities supplying a large percentage of the nation's produce—70 percent of its lettuce comes from Salinas—the impact should be felt in grocery stores across the country.

The water shortage in these cities also points out the absurdity of California-based bottled water companies sourcing their product from local spring and tap water, and processing it to ship out of state.

You Might Also Like

California Experiencing Most Severe Drought Ever Recorded

8 Foods That California’s Drought Will Make More Costly

Precious Water Bottled and Shipped Out of Drought-Ridden California

 

A Brood X cicada in 2004. Pmjacoby / CC BY-SA 3.0

Fifteen states are in for an unusually noisy spring.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A creative depiction of bigfoot in a forest. Nisian Hughes / Stone / Getty Images

Deep in the woods, a hairy, ape-like man is said to be living a quiet and secluded life. While some deny the creature's existence, others spend their lives trying to prove it.

Read More Show Less

Trending

President of the European Investment Bank Werner Hoyer holds a press conference in Brussels, Belgium on Jan. 30, 2020. Dursun Aydemir / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

By Jon Queally

Noted author and 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben was among the first to celebrate word that the president of the European Investment Bank on Wednesday openly declared, "To put it mildly, gas is over" — an admission that squares with what climate experts and economists have been saying for years if not decades.

Read More Show Less

A dwarf giraffe is seen in Uganda, Africa. Dr. Michael Brown, GCF

Nine feet tall is gigantic by human standards, but when researcher and conservationist Michael Brown spotted a giraffe in Uganda's Murchison Falls National Park that measured nine feet, four inches, he was shocked.

Read More Show Less
Kelsey Mueller, 16, pets Ruby while waiting with her family to be escorted from the evacuation zone at the Shaver Lake Marina parking lot off of CA-168 during the Creek Fire on Sept. 7, 2020 in Shaver Lake, California. Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times / Getty Images

By Daisy Simmons

In a wildfire, hurricane, or other disaster, people with pets should heed the Humane Society's advice: If it isn't safe for you, it isn't safe for your animals either.

Read More Show Less