Mississippi River Blues: Extreme Drought In Progress
Save and Conserve tends to focus on the hydrocarbon landscape more than other natural resources, but water has been more and more on my mind lately. This is due largely to the ongoing and growing drought situation in the western US.
Seems the Mississippi is running low - not at the alltime low, but with no rains forecast, the river won't be rising anytime soon. The trickle down effect of drought has major impacts to the transportation system in the region which relies on the river to ship grains & crops down river to ports. Since the river is lower, barges must carry less cargo (so they don't run aground), which means it costs more to ship and lowers supply. Subsequently, food prices will rise.
China has been dealing with their own major drought, too. Droughts mean lower river levels ... but they also mean less drinking water. Expect to see more in the news about conflicts over water in the western US over the next couple of months.
Check out the drought monitor to get a sense for the trend in the US. I recommend the 12-week animation loop. Yikes.
Let's hope the west isn't heading for another Dust Bowl. Nothing good looking on that page.