The Negative Effects Of Droughts

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Water is quite possibly the most underappreciated commodity in North America today. Many residents are unaware of their daily water footprint and assume that what they drink, cook with, and clean with is all they use. The hidden water needs of a modern society span across various sectors, including energy, transportation, production, farming, and even wastewater management sectors. A prolonged drought can wreak havoc on one or all of these sectors endangering the sustainability of a region. Droughts are often the result of a lack of precipitation and a lack of snowpack, especially due to the effects of climate change and global warming. Even though droughts cannot be prevented, it is important to evaluate the aggravating impacts of climate…show more content…
The negative effects of drought on people include human health issues as a result of a lack of clean water supply and increased levels of dust for those with respiratory issues. Many people also experience anxiety, stress, and depression due to economic losses caused by drought, which is especially true in impoverished communities. Impacts on the environment range from a decrease in agricultural resources, which affects food supplies leading to an increase in food prices. "Agriculture is the sector most affected by drought, absorbing about 84 percent of the economic impact of droughts" (Resilience to natural hazards and resulting disasters, 2018). The environmental impact also incorporates a decrease in fish and wildlife supply or the possibility of extinction of endangered species. Furthermore, environmental impacts can affect food chains and ecosystems due to habitat destruction caused by water bodies drying out. Droughts can also have a negative effect on a community's critical infrastructure, especially as it relates to water and wastewater systems, energy, and food and agriculture. During droughts, water and wastewater systems are affected because groundwater can become depleted, which causes aquifer levels to reduce; thus, making water unavailable for irrigation and consumption. Additionally, water systems may see an increase in contamination due to higher levels of illness-causing bacteria or protozoa (Drought Impacts to Critical Infrastructure, 2015). Droughts can also have an impact on energy because "limited water availability constrains the operation of some power plants and other energy production activities" (Drought Impacts to Critical Infrastructure, 2015). Energy sources rely on water during production, and in times of a drought, energy production becomes significantly challenged. One of the most significant impacts of drought that most people

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