The affects of a severe drought in the West will impact every person across the United States through a sharp raise in fruit, vegetable and meat prices at the grocery store. Having a fully stocked food storage will help a family cope with raising food costs until the drought passes.
A drought has economic, environmental and social impacts.
Farmers will lose money if a drought destroys their crops.
Consumers will pay higher prices at the grocery stores and food will have to be shipped from other parts of the united States and foreign countries to fill the gap in the food supply.
Forests will dry up and wildfires will occur destroying precious resources and homes. States budgets will be drained fighting these fires and people’s lives put at risk.
Power companies that rely on hydroelectric power (electricity that’s created from the energy of running water) will have to spend more money on other fuel sources if drought dries up too much of the water supply. The power companies’ customers will see a rise in their monthly utility bills – the cost will be passed onto them while water usage restrictions are imposed.
Barges and ships that transport goods and materials will have trouble navigating rivers because of low water levels will affect business and availability of goods in stores. Semi trucks and trains will have to take up the slack creating a higher demand for fuel.
Businesses that build and sell boats, fishing equipment, farming equipment and so forth will be affected. Tourism and every business that depends on it will suffer. Jobs will be lost.
Wildlife habitat will be destroyed and wildlife animals will become diseased or die because of the lack of drinking water and food supplies. Wildlife animals will start to migrate possibly into city limits desperately searching for drinking water. Sometimes the damage is only temporary and their habitat and food supply return to normal when the drought is over – other times the damage is long lasting.
Poor soil quality leads to wind and water erosion of soil. Remember the history of The Dust Bowl ?
Health problems related to poor water quality, dust and anxiety (reduced incomes).
Click here to look at the National Climatic Data Center drought impact map in a bigger picture:
and an article explaining the drought in the West