Waste in a Time of Crisis

Many of you know I live in Oklahoma and you may know that Oklahoma has been in a drought since October 2010. During the summer the news covered the drought, though it focused mostly on Texas, but as many areas have come out of the drought it doesn’t seem to make the news much. And of course it’s not just Oklahoma, much of the middle part of the country is in a drought.

The U.S. Drought Monitor is produced in partnership between the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Map courtesy of NDMC-UNL.

The U.S. Drought Monitor is produced in partnership between the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Map courtesy of NDMC-UNL.

I’m not sure about other states but I get the feeling that many in my state are not aware of how bad things are right now. The whole state is in a severe to exceptional drought. The drought has caused a lot of problems for farmers and ranchers. There are the normal issues that come with droughts, like crop loss, and many people quitting. There is also an issue with people stealing hay as it’s become quite hard to find. I noticed one ranch, that is with the co-op I’m a member of, had to butcher some of their livestock very young because of the drought.

One of the biggest issues being caused by the drought is a water crisis. Many of Oklahoma’s drinking water sources are drying up and one community will likely be without water in less than two months. Oklahoma City is also racing to find water as one of their main sources of water is at a record low. There is also a fear that as it warms up “fish kills” could occur in some of these lakes, which would make the water untreatable.

Lake Hefner, a vital source of water for OKC (c) Sloan Remer

(c) Sloan Remer- Boats in Lake Hefner, a vital source of water for OKC.

With all of this going on you would think all of Oklahoma would be under water restrictions but very few places are. Many places seem to be waiting until things are really bad. So people go on wasting water, as many others fear running out soon. And with the states around Oklahoma also rushing to find more water, it could be hard to find help.

It frustrates me to see people wasting water at anytime but it’s even worse when you are in the middle of a very severe drought. Sadly predictions for the drought aren’t good, it looks like it will be continuing for now. I just hope people will start to wake up and see how bad things are, before it’s too late.

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