Drought conditions across the Dakotas and western Minnesota are expected to continue or worsen this spring. Soil moisture deficits are becoming extreme, raising serious concerns for agriculture across the region in 2021. However, many people are unaware that, should the drought continue this summer, the impacts of drought will spread beyond farms and ranches into urban areas.
Droughts make heat waves more likely and heat waves create an increased demand for electricity for air conditioners and water for lawns. Due to the increase in population of most of our region's urban areas in recent years, shortages of these things will become likely. Water rationing and electrical outages would not likely reach crisis proportions, but could certainly become a significant nuisance should the drought continue.