Low river levels point to brutal domino effects to come
London, UK - Low water levels, thanks to a megadrought in the US Southwest and dried up rivers across the world, just got a scary new outlook for what may be coming.
A new prediction by the Financial Times of river levels for the next four months has painted a dire picture of what's likely ahead, and shows just how hefty the impacts of the climate crisis are becoming.
Predictions of the Colorado River's expected dip are the most stunning example of how low the flow could go, with a directive from the Bureau of Reclamation already telling Arizona to use 21% less and Nevada to use 8% less of the basin's shrinking water reserves.
The report also shows that China's Yangtze River is so dry that it's causing brutal hydropower shortages, shipping problems, and factory shutdowns. The country has tried to combat its droughts by firing rockets and drones into the clouds to make artificial rain, and it looks like the challenges will only continue.
Meanwhile, over in Europe, the Rhine is getting increasingly low, and despite a recent surge in flow, it's also in danger of dipping lower in the coming months.
Chief executive of the UK's Royal Meteorological Society, Liz Bentley, told the Financial Times, "Droughts are not very easy to define and not every drought is the same. A changing climate is likely to bring greater variability in rainfall and higher temperatures, meaning that water management may become more of a challenge."
Lower rivers have serious effects on our everyday lives, from making certain foods scarce in your local store to bringing blackouts to your power lines. If the new report is any indication of what's to come with our water levels, things may not be smooth sailing.
Cover photo: REUTERS