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The Economic Impact of Droughts

As a society, it is important to know how conserving water affects the world around us. The effects of a drought on the ecosystem may not be obvious to the average person, but droughts affect the population of our food sources such as animals and plants, as well as impacting waterways and reservoirs.

Roughly 30% of the world’s population live in dry areas which makes up 40% of the worlds land surface. In these areas, food production is extremely challenging and conservation is key to minimizing drought related issues. That 30% that lives in the dry areas is at least 2.5 billion people that should definitely be aware of their water consumption; however, the environment and our eco-system is the responsibility of everyone.

To show you the importance of playing your part, it is vital that you understand how drought affects our economy. Let’s look at the major economic impacts which include the affects of our waterways, reservoirs and wildlife which provide food and water to the entire world.

Waterways and Reservoirs

First and foremost, and most visibly to us, lakes, rivers, streams, and ponds all have reduced volume during drought periods. This could be due to a number of factors, some of which include increased average temperature, reduced overall rainfall directly in the area, or lack of water in rivers that pour into local bodies of water.

Animal Watering

Because there’s a significant chance that smaller bodies of water will dry up completely, animals that rely on those bodies of water must find other sources of nourishment or else their population could die off quickly. This means that there will be a lack of animals in waterless areas and an increase near remaining bodies of water.

Migration due to drought harms areas from which the animals travel because of their lack of the variety of animals that they had before the drought. Having a large number of animals at fewer watering holes also makes them more vulnerable to predators that live nearby, which can cause an imbalance in the predator-prey populations.

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