The most populated state in the country is facing what may be its worst drought in a century of record-keeping. On January 20, the governor of California declared a state of emergency, urging everyone to begin conserving water.
Since the beginning of 2012, the contiguous United States has been experiencing drier than average conditions. This lack of precipitation is affecting water availability for agriculture and municipal use, as well as increasing concerns about soil quality and wildfires.
In summer 2011, the South was in the grip of one of the worst droughts on record. Many parts of New Mexico and western Texas have received a small fraction of their normal rainfall over the past 10 months.