May 31, 2023 — A two-decade drought in the western United States, the worst in more than 1,000 years, has pushed chronic water shortages to a critical point, notwithstanding above-average precipitation this past winter. Similar water shortages afflict Europe and some parts of Africa, Asia, Australia, and Latin America.
Forty million people in western US states get much of their water from the Colorado River. On May 22, their representatives reached a supposedly historic agreement to solve their conflicting claims for the time being. California, Arizona and Nevada managed to negotiate how to allocate reductions of 14% by 2026, in water drawn from the river.