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Utah economy

How the Western “mega-drought” could cause more “water wars”

Brad Howard, CNBC Producer: Water is a crucial resource that all humans need.

Emma Newburger, CNBC Business News: And right now, what we’re seeing is that there just isn’t enough water for everyone.

Maddie Stone, Freelance Science Journalist: The current situation is that large swathes of the west – essentially all of California, Oregon, Nevada and Utah, and a few other states – are currently in a state of drought.

Kathryn Reed, Correspondent, North Bay Business Journal: It is really difficult to find a business that is not affected.

Brad Howard CNBC producer: Then, when the water runs out, the economy feels the effect.

Morgan Levy, Assistant Professor, University of California, San Diego: Agriculture consumes more than 70% of the available water supply. During years of drought, agriculture will consume an even larger fraction of water reserves.

Brad Howard CNBC Producer :: Tourism, landscaping, home building and farming are just a few of the businesses that are suffering due to one of the worst droughts the West Coast has ever seen. In 2020, forest fires and drought cost US $ 21 billion. With lower water levels and higher temperatures, the risk of forest fires increases, according to the National Environmental Information Centers. In the western climatic region alone, which includes California and Nevada, wildfires caused $ 12.1 billion in damage in 2020. With the fires, political feuds and climate change, water becomes more important than ever to the US economy.

Mary Cashion

The author Mary Cashion