Drought has long been one of the most worrying environmental issues. But if, so far, African countries were the main affected, the world today must face increasingly frequent and long-lasting droughts. Chile, India, Australia, the United States, France and even Russia are all regions of the world suffering from the acceleration of the global drought.
Even if it does not pay attention to it, the problem of drought (and all that it involves, forest fires) is one of the most disturbing phenomena we are going to to face in the years to come. And many countries are measuring the consequences of climate change.
Situation of Chile
At present, Chile suffers from the worst drought in its history. According to the UN, 76% of the country’s land area is affected by drought, desertification and land degradation. This concerns about 57.5 million hectares, on which 65% of the Chilean population live. The results were obtained after analysis of meteorological and bioclimatic data (rainfall and temperature over the last 60 years), physiographic data (vegetation, erosion risks, water) and socio-economic indicators. This resulted in a new map showing the acceleration of drought on the national territory, resulting in loss of biodiversity, slowed plant growth and increased forest fires. Between 2005 and 2014, all stations recorded less than normal annual rainfall (about 10% deficit). Drought mainly affects the central part of the country, where the largest dams see their water levels fall.
Situation of the United States
Let’s stay in America but let’s go back a little to the United States, which also worries about a possible “mega-drought”. For example, recent studies have revealed that during the second half of the 21st century, much of the territory will suffer from the worst drought in its history. The effects will be particularly visible in the southeastern and southern states of the United States (California, Nevada, Colorado, Nebraska and southern Minnesota) that will face a major water shortage.
This apocalyptic situation, which could last for 35 years, is already felt in several states of the country, such as California or Nevada, which see their water tables and their reservoirs exhausted at lightning speed for 5 years. Fortunately, according to the Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the Californian subsoil has 3 times more water than expected ! The groundwater can therefore continue to be overexploited by farmers, swimming pools filled to the brim, grass will be green and the car washed several times a week… Phew !
Situation of France
In terms of drought, France is not without remains. Farmers are also affected by the heat wave and the drought which, again this year, is likely to affect the entire territory. Corn yields (a real water pump) are particularly low due to high temperatures and lack of water even in irrigated areas. 10 departments of the country are thus in a state of “crisis” and 43 others are in alert situation, implying important measures of restriction in water. Especially since many scientists fear a great drought this year…