A drought happens in areas where there is a lack of precipitation for a long period of time. Sometimes this can last for a season or for a short period of time. When a drought happens, it means that there has been no snow or rain for a long period of time.


Do Droughts Happen in The United States?

A drought can happen anywhere in the world, even in the United States. Some of the states that are in western United States experience droughts that happen year after year. In the 1930’s, a drought happened, and it was called the “Dust Bowl,” because it affected many people that lived in the south-central area in the United States.

Some of the states that were affected by the “Dust Bowl” drought were Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas and New Mexico. The reason that the drought was called the “Dust Bowl” was because after the drought, the areas experienced many dust storms. This drought lasted for almost 10 years.

A South Dakota farm during the Dust Bowl

What Does a Drought Do?

When there is a lack of water, the biggest thing that gets hurt is the agriculture. It is hard for plants to grow and food to grow when there is not enough water to water the plants. Since there is a lack of food growth, places that experience droughts have a hard time feeding people, animals and many people lose their jobs, especially those that work on farms.

We need water to grow food, to feed animals and to feed ourselves. When there is no water, not only do we not get to grow food, but we lack in other ways.

Fields outside Benambra

If you think about it, we use water for everything; cooking, bathing, swimming, doing dishes and even just to drink. Water is even used to help run electricity. So, when there is not enough water, we have to give up some of the things that we love doing the most in order to preserve the water that we do have.

Can We Help Stop a Drought?

Even though we cannot control the weather, there are things that we can do to try to save water. It is important to make sure that we use only the water that we need when we take a bath or when we brush our teeth or wash our faces.

If you notice that something is leaking in your house like your sink or your toilet, it is important to tell your parents so that they can fix it. Just a small leak can cause there to be a lot of water to be used.

More Facts About Droughts

  • Droughts can cause there to be environmental disasters such as wildfires.
  • Landslides can be caused by droughts.
  • When people do not get enough water, they can become dehydrated.
  • When a drought happens, the food supply is cut short.
  • Drinking water keeps people healthy. When there is a drought, there might not be enough drinking water.
  • When there is a drought, the city might put you on a water advisory.
  • A water advisory means that you are only allowed to use so much water per day.
  • Ponds, rivers and streams can get low when there is a drought.
  • There are five different drought levels: normal, advisory, watch, warning and emergency.
  • Do not waste water by pouring it down the drain. If you have extra water, water a plant or put it in your garden.
  • Use rainwater to help feed your indoor plants.
  • When in a drought, do not flush your toilet often and take only short baths or showers.
  • Do not let the water run when brushing your teeth, this can help to preserve some water.

What Did You Learn?

  • What was the biggest drought called in the United States?
    The biggest drought in the United States was in 1930 and it was called the Dust Bowl.
  • What causes a drought?
    A drought is caused when there is no precipitation or very little precipitation over a long period of time.
  • Can people stop a drought?
    People cannot stop a drought, but they can do things to help preserve water.
  • What is the biggest problem with a drought?
    The biggest problem with a drought is that it can cause there to not be enough food because agriculture dies due to there not being water to feed the fruits and vegetables.
  • Do droughts happen in the United States?
    Yes, droughts happen in the United States and can happen anywhere in the world.