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Western drought: “When water gets short, farmers get very clever”

Most of the stories I’ve published lately have dealt with the drought in California.  And it’s no wonder, since California is the primary region for a lot of agriculture in the US.  But other areas of the west are also suffering from the extended drought in the region.  Here are a couple of stories about impacts of the drought in Utah and west Texas.

AgWeb posted a story today about the dilemma Utah farmers face with growing crops this year.  Usually they have until July until water usage is restricted.  But because of the lack of snow cover this year, they are already facing rations on their agricultural water.  How do they decide what to plant in the face of so much uncertainty?  You can read the story here.

The New York Times also posted an article this week about water restrictions in the West.  In this story, they are looking at the impacts of the drought on the flow of the Rio Grande River near El Paso, TX.  But even though water restrictions have caused problems for agricultural producers, they have also risen to the challenge and have become better stewards of the water that is there.  Conservation by both urban and agricultural users has improved over time and now El Paso uses less water per person than any other city in Texas.  You can read that story here.

Source: USDA ARS

Source: USDA ARS