Nine Cities Running Out of Water

Print Email

4. Colorado Springs, Colo.
> Extreme drought coverage (2013): 89.2%
> Exceptional drought coverage (2013): 4.7%
> Population: 559,409

For roughly a year straight, at least some part of the Colorado Springs urban area has been in a state of extreme drought. The city’s water capacity was just 57% as of July 21, a time of year when it is normally nearly 85%. Colorado Springs Utilities spokesperson Patrice Lehermeier noted, “We don’t want to say it’s becoming the norm, but dry conditions in Colorado is something we’re going to be facing, especially in Colorado Springs, for a long time,” As a local news station quoted. The NOAA projects that most of Colorado, including the Colorado Springs area, will be in a state or continued or worsening drought at least through the fall. Heavy rains in southern Colorado last week have eased some of the residents’ worries, but officials have cautioned that the region is by no means out of the woods.

Also Read: The Worst States to Be Unemployed

3. McAllen, Texas
> Extreme drought coverage (2013): 100%
> Exceptional drought coverage (2013): 56.5%
> Population: 728,825

Like much of the southern part of Texas bordering Mexico — known as the Rio Grande Valley — McAllen has been in a state of severe, prolonged water shortage. Excepting a four-week period in late May/early June, at least some part of the area has been in a state of severe drought for 127 straight weeks. Portions of the area have been affected by the worst possible level of drought since September, 2012. The NOAA projects that drought conditions in the area will persist or intensify at least through October. In April, the city implemented phase 2 of its drought contingency plan. The plan includes mandatory water conservation, which limits the washing of vehicles, irrigation of lawns, and the refilling of swimming pools.

2. Pueblo, Colo.
> Exceptional drought coverage (2013): 71.2%
> Extreme drought coverage (2013): 100%
> Population: 136,550

Arguably, no large urban area has faced worse drought than Pueblo this year. The entire area has been in a state of at least the second-worst possible drought level from the start of the year through the third week of July. On average, more than 70% of the Pueblo was affected by exceptional drought, higher than any other area with a population of 75,000 or more. According to KOAA, Pueblo had received just 3.77 inches of rainfall through July 22, nearly half of the 7.15 inches on average it normally receives by that date. The NOAA expects drought to remain a problem in the Pueblo area through the fall.

Also Read: Cities Where People Have the Most Heart Attacks

1. Lubbock, Texas
> Exceptional drought coverage (2013): 62.8%
> Extreme drought coverage (2013): 100%
> Population: 237,356

Nearly half of the Lubbock area on average has been in a state of exceptional drought since 2011, worse than anywhere else in the nation with a population of more than 75,000. During that time, more than three quarters of the area was under exceptional drought in an average week, also worse than anywhere else in the nation. In April, to encourage water conservation, the city of Lubbock changed its water rate structure to penalize heavier users. Nothing illustrates the area’s water problems better than White River Lake, which is located 70 miles south of Lubbock. The lake may be just a few weeks away from being unable to deliver water to 10,000 residents, according to The Associated Press.

RSS Facebook Twitter