**How Bad Is the Western Drought? Worst in 12 Centuries, Study Finds.**
**Fueled by climate change, the drought that started in 2000 is now the driest two decades since 800 A.D.**
**By Henry Fountain, The New York Times, Feb. 14, 2022**
**ALBUQUERQUE — The megadrought in the American Southwest has become so severe that it’s now the driest two decades in the region in at least 1,200 years, scientists said Monday, and climate change is largely responsible.**
**The drought, which began in 2000 and has reduced water supplies, devastated farmers and ranchers and helped fuel wildfires across the region, had previously been considered the worst in 500 years, according to the researchers. But exceptional conditions in the summer of 2021, when about two-thirds of the West was in extreme drought, “really pushed it over the top...”**
**Several previous megadroughts in the 1,200-year record lasted as long as 30 years, according to the researchers. Their analysis concluded that it is likely that the current 22-year drought will last that long. ...** [end quote]
A widespread megadrought has Macroeconomic impact. Agriculture and meat production suffers so food prices rise. Reduced reservoirs and snow pack threatens the drinking water of desert cities. Wildfires have destroyed thousands of homes and killed many people, in urbanized areas as well as in the back woods. Insurance costs are rising fast.
Even though western Washington State is known for its wet climate, we are still dependent on snow pack and ground water for our dry summers.
The Climate Prediction Center maps are scary for huge areas of the west. Some areas in East Texas and Louisiana may get relief but other areas will have worsening drought.
The megadrought will worsen inflation and threaten lives and property.