ALBUQUERQUE, N. M. – the Drought is tightening its grip across a wide swath of the american Southwest as farmers, farmers and water managers in the region to brace for some more warm and dry weather through the spring.
A federal drought map released Thursday shows dry conditions to intensify, in the north of New Mexico and in the southwest of Arizona. Every square foot of Nevada and Utah also are affected by at least a certain degree of dryness.
On the southern high plains, Oklahoma is ground zero for the worst drought in the United States.
The exceptional drought in the Panhandle — an area dominated by agriculture — has more than doubled in size. Many farmers rely on the rainfall to help water their crops if the pumping of groundwater is the only other option.
“We are in the irrigation period, and it would really be great to get some rainfall in these areas,” said Cole Perryman of the Oklahoma Water Resources Board.
The conditions of the crop in the region decreases, such as extreme drought stretching from Kansas and Oklahoma to California. In New Mexico, on approximately three-quarters of the winter wheat crop is in poor to very poor condition, so much moisture is scarce since last fall.
Along the Rio Grande in southern New Mexico, the irrigation allocation will be less than half of what farmers received last year. Water orders starts next week, and officials with the local Irrigation district to encourage the growers to use their surface water once washed of the question.
“If we are later in the release of the season, the possibility of us running surface and the exit bigger,” Phil King, a consultant with the district, said in a message to the farmers. “So it’s kind of a use it or lose it type of situation.”
In Arizona, there is concern for the farmers as the bad set of terms and conditions left stock tanks dry. On the Navajo Nation, a drought emergency was declared earlier this month and the residents have started hauling water for their sheep and other livestock.
“It is one of the drier years we have had,” said the Arizona state climatologist Nancy Selover. She warned of the increased likelihood for dust storms this spring.
But the officials had not expected cuts in the water supply systems that serve many of Arizona’s population.
Arizona residents live with a severe drought declaration for the year, said Tom Buschatzke, director of the state Department of Water Resources.
of that is due to the situation in the state of the own borders, but also what happens along the Colorado River, which supplies water to about 40 million people and 6,300 square miles (16,000 square km) of farmland in seven states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.
“It is at the point where the discussion will continue to ramp up over the question of whether this is really a drought or is this the new normal, what is the expected future,” Buschatzke said. “There is certainly a lot of data pointing to this is the new normal.”