U.S. in One of Worst Droughts in Over 30 Years

Recent data from the U.S. Drought Monitor reveal the United States is in one of the worst droughts since the 1980s. The drought is projected to cost the U.S. economy up to $50 billion. 

U.S. Department of Agriculture meteorologist and Drought Monitor member Brad Rippey says the current American drought may actually be even worse.

“You really need to go back to the 1950s to find a drought that lasted and occupied at least as much territory,” says Rippey.

Over 80% of seven U.S. states were deemed in “severe drought,” a designation indicating crop or pasture loss, water shortage, and water restrictions. The top seven drought-stricken states were:

  1. Nebraska—100% of the state in severe drought
  2. Kansas—96.4% of the state in severe drought
  3. New Mexico—89.9% of the state in severe drought
  4. Colorado—89% of the state in severe drought
  5. South Dakota—86.3% of the state in severe drought
  6. Wyoming—83.7% of the state in severe drought
  7. Oklahoma—83.2% of the state in severe drought

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Agriculture rated 59% of U.S. rangeland and pastureland as being in poor or very poor condition.


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