That future could very well mean fewer people in the dry West and coastal areas of the East and South, and more people in the comparatively water-rich Midwest. And if you’re looking for a historical analogy that could illustrate the change, look no further than the 1930s-era Dust Bowl.
East of the Rockies, and particularly in the Midwest, the summer has been cool and wet. Meanwhile, all of California has been suffering from severe to exceptional drought conditions, with the Texas Panhandle and Oklahoma not far behind. Texas was certainly in the drought bull’s-eye last year, and while conditions have improved, the state is not out of the woods yet.
Is this a harbinger? It’s probably safe to say that exceptional drought conditions won’t stay in California forever, just as conditions have eased in Texas this year. But the persistence of conditions conducive to drought may turn water into an increasing dwindling resource, rather than a renewable one, over time.