The United States is currently engulfed in one of the worst droughts in recent memory. More than 30% of the country experienced at least moderate drought as of last week's data. In seven states drought conditions were so severe that each had more than half of its land area in severe drought. Severe drought is characterized by crop loss, frequent water shortages, and mandatory water use restrictions. — USA Today
California and Oklahoma are both experiencing "exceptional drought" – the most severe category – in 25-30% of the state. Both of these states, particularly California, are major agricultural regions and the effects of the drought will have profound ripples economically. North Texas has been in drought for over three years, a major cattle-supplying region. Back in 2011, a TIME article detailed the possible global ramifications for the Texan drought that we are perhaps only now beginning to experience. In Nevada and other southwestern countries, the concern is less about agriculture and more basically about drinking water, as stored reserves drop down to about one third of expected levels.
Have an idea for how to address the drought with design? Submit your ideas to the Dry Futures competition!