US DECLARES DROUGHT

While parts of the UK are still reeling under the severe drought, the USA has officially declared a drought in most of the country. The Department of Agriculture of the USA has declared a drought in more than 1000 counties in the 26 states. The National Public Radio announced that more than 55 per cent of the USA is facing the calamity and launched interactive maps to follow the drought situation.

Texas, the largest rice producing state of the USA was hit by news that the state government would be stopping the supply of water to their canals from March 1 in the wake of a drought. The farmers of the region haven’t seen a single day in decades when water from the lakes in Austin had not reached their irrigation canals. This is an unusual scenario in the history of the US. The production of the region that contributes nearly five per cent of the country’s is expected to fall even while other states like Arkansas’ yield is decreasing.

In the UK, the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFR) have declared a “super-drought” in three regions. The secretary of the DEFR has particularly urged businesses to reduce the water consumption as drought has hit south-east UK after the Anglian regions and areas around Thames Valley and London. The government authorities had been contemplating a hose-pipe ban for companies and now the industries have accepted to abide by it from spring onwards. The driest areas at present are Northamptonshire, west Norfolk Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, parts of Bedfordshire. Water companies and farmers will be most affected by the ban and the drought as rainfall has already been below average. Water companies are not sure yet for how long they would be able to bind to the restriction as the government further plans to implement more water-saving schemes for industries. Farmers on the other hand will have to rely on the conventional water storage on the fields.

– Mitali

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