This is not the first time a great drought was experienced by the U.S. The Dust Bowl in the 1930s was a much graver drought because it exceeded the California drought in time. In some areas of the Great Plains, the dustbowl lasted eight years, causing migration westward. At its peak in 1934, 77% of the country was covered by the Dust Bowl according to Forbes magazine. Another great drought, named the Great Plains Drought, covered more than one state. In 1954, the drought had enveloped ten states and covered 62% of the country. The Great Plains drought lasted from eight to twelve years.
California is not the only location experiencing a drought. According to The International Business Times, Sao Paulo in Brazil has had record low amounts of rainfall for three consecutive years that has resulted in a drought, even though the country of Brazil is the source for 12% of the world’s fresh water. This rain is the main source of water replenishment for the city’s reservoirs, which are 27% full capacity, down from the 40% capacity of May 2014. In additions, the Northern part of Kenya, Turkana, is experiencing a major drought. With water affecting crops and livestock, food has become incredibly expensive. The lack of a good rain season, the last being in 2012, resulted in largely affecting the way of life. Samuel Aboto, a resident in Turkana, told The Guardian of the affect rain has had on his animals, saying that last year at this time he had 600 goats, now he has none.
1. What are two possible reasons for the drought in California?
2. What drought affected the Great Plains in the 1930s?
3. What year did the Great Plains drought directly affect 10 states at once?
4. What two other places in the world are experiencing a drought?
5. Do you think precautionary measures to the drought should have been taken by the California state government? Why or why not?