Maybe you’ve heard about it on the news, or maybe you can look out your window and see it, but what is a drought? And why is it so important this year?
Drought brings to mind hot, dry summers, but the actual meaning of the word is just that there is not enough water supply to meet the demand. There are actually three types of drought and one of them is called agricultural drought. It means there is not enough water for plants to grow. Usually agricultural drought is caused by a lack of rain, but it is possible for farmers to be experiencing drought while others in the cities and towns are not.
The reason is that plants need water more at some times that others. If the corn is ready to pollinate or if the kernels are filling out the plant needs more water than usual. If the ground is dry just for these important steps it can mess up the entire plant. A well-timed rain can be just as important as lots of rain.
Agricultural drought affects everyone. This year the drought is over many places in the US. That means food of all kinds is struggling to grow. But drought is affecting even more than food this year. Some towns are having problems with getting enough water for people to use for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. These towns must stop people from washing their cars, watering their gardens, or filling pools. Wild animals are also struggling for food, since the grasses, bushes, and berries they usually eat are burnt. Trees are already loosing their leaves.
Brainstorm a list of all the ways you use water. Which can be affected by drought? Leave me a comment and tell us if you already see signs of the drought where you are.