NIDIS and NIHHIS hosted two webinars on July 21 to provide the latest information on current drought, heat, and fire conditions and forecasts, as well as the serious impacts to diverse sectors of the economy and communities throughout the West and Southern Plains. The webinars were attended by 17 congressional staffers and 38 members of the media.
Perspectives from those on the ground who are responding to these worsening drought and heat conditions were shared. For example, Kansas is the largest producer of milo (sorghum) in the U.S., which is a drought-resistant crop. But this drought is bad enough that even the milo crop is severely stressed. In Oklahoma, farmers are feeling a squeeze on their bottom line and relying on crop insurance and the Livestock Forage Disaster Program from the USDA Farm Service Agency. Out West, the dropping water levels at Lakes Mead and Powell have been in the news. If Lake Powell elevation falls below 3,490 feet, electrical power production at Glen Canyon Dam completely stops. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is taking extraordinary measures to keep Powell’s elevation above this level.
For more information, contact Adam Lang.