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Southern farmers contend with abnormally dry weather

Around the world water shortages became frighteningly common this year. Treehugger took a closer look at countries that are growing in population while water supplies are shrinking.

And, in a year-end review, San Francisco Treehugger Jaymi Heimbuch warns that it’s not just China, India and African countries – even the US is not immune to water scarcity.

Areas most vulnerable to droughts
“Areas in dark green in this image are most vulnerable to droughts.”

Although I have relocated from the Southeast to Upstate New York, and thus have a 7 month reprieve on more poisoning of local water supplies  for the Greater Greed, I still have family in and affection for the South, and  have paid particular attention to further drought in the area. Tom Breen in Raleigh, N.C. and Jay Reeves in Birmingham, Ala. report that farmers across the South are contending with abnormally dry weather.

The AP reporters note losses throughout the economic food chain. (Treehugger Ray Henry also included a link to CNBC video that describes the commodities impact.) The drought began last Spring, followed by “record-setting summer heat that scorched peanut fields, stressed cotton plants and stunted citrus fruit.” Cattle farmers report less grass for grazing and truck farmers are losing money, even on their winter crops.

More significant to the entire nation is an increasing water shortage in California with major consequences to one of the great food baskets for the Nation. After a decade of dry conditions and growing concern for water, Climate Progress warns of the drought period lasting 60 years. Climate scientists also expect unprecedented heat. When droughts are accompanied by excessively warm temperatures, the combination has a more severe impact on ecosystems. Water shortages result in food scarcity, and the United States is not immune to such risk.

Check out an interactive map of where the water is.

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