Weekly Drought Monitor Update

The weekly U.S. Drought Monitor released Thursday shows a continuation and expansion of prolonged drought in the Midwest and Southwestern United States. Drought conditions now extend from Washington State down the coast and along the U.S.-Mexico border to Louisiana and Mississippi, and north across Missouri to Colorado. The weekly measure notes that livestock production has been seriously impaired by the drought, particularly in southern Oregon and part of northeastern Utah. In the Midwest, livestock and crops are suffering, especially in Missouri, where 42 percent of the state is considered in severe drought, while 20 percent of the state is in extreme drought. The Drought Monitor specifically pointed out that the lake level for a city reservoir for Hamilton, Missouri has been dropping about two inches per week, and is now 70 inches below the spillway. If the trend continues, water would drop below the minimum intake level in three months. Meanwhile, across Texas, mandatory water use restrictions have been imposed by 665 public water supply authorities, according to the Texas Drought Preparedness Council, with a few mandating moderate to severe restrictions.