Less Water Will Be Available for the American Southwest

Published on December 26th, 2012 | by

Rio Grande

A new study in Nature Climate Change predicts that less water will be available in the American southwest because of decreased rainfall in some places and increased evaporation.

The authors projected increased precipitation – in the form of both rain and snow – for northern California and the Colorado River watershed.  The Colorado River supplies water for seven U.S. states and parts of Mexico.

However, the increased precipitation will not provide more water overall.  The higher temperatures and longer summers that are also expected with climate change will dry the soil, putting stress on agricultural users as well as households.

Texas will experience a decrease in average rainfall and an increase in temperatures, the paper says.  The extended droughts of the last few years may become the norm.

Rio Grande photo via Shutterstock

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