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This Global Drought Narrative is based on global drought indicators available at the Global Drought Information System, and media reports summarized by the National Drought Mitigation Center.

Global Drought Overview

Overview: GDIS global indicators revealed dry conditions continued during March 2024 across large parts of Africa, South and Central America, and Mexico. Beneficial precipitation occurred in parts of North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia, but for drought-plagued areas it was not enough to make up for months, even years, of deficient precipitation. Unusually hot temperatures afflicted large parts of the world, increasing evaporation and making drought conditions worse. This was especially the case in Africa and South America, which had the warmest March in the 1850-2024 NOAA/NCEI record. South America had the second driest March and driest January-March (year to date) in the 1940-2024 ECMWF ERA5 analysis, and southern Africa ranked driest on record for January-March.

A significant portion of the world's agricultural lands was still suffering from low soil moisture and groundwater levels — especially in the Americas, Africa, and Australia — and satellite observations showed stressed vegetation on all continents. The GEOGLAM Crop Monitor indicated that agriculture was most threatened in parts of Central and South America, Africa, Europe, and southern Asia. The Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWSNet) revealed significant food insecurity continuing in parts of Central and South America, Southwest Asia, and much of Africa.

The Associated Press discussed how the warming world is making it harder for many people to get fresh water for drinking, cooking and cleaning. They referred to the United Nations who, on World Water Day (March 22), estimated that around 2.2 billion people worldwide don't have access to safely managed drinking water and water-related disasters have dominated the list of disasters over the past 50 years, accounting for 70% of all deaths related to natural disasters. As a prolonged heatwave and drought grip several countries in Eastern and Southern Africa, UNICEF is sounding the alarm on the dire situation faced by vulnerable communities who are bearing the brunt of climate change. In the region, 45 million children are living through multiple and often overlapping crises intensified by climate change, including cholera outbreaks, malnutrition, drought and floods. LogisticsInsider.in noted that an S&P Global report said that the ongoing severe drought in Central America, prompting restrictions on daily crossings at the Panama Canal, poses a significant threat to the global supply chain. The canal, a vital artery for international trade, has been compelled to implement limitations due to dwindling water levels, potentially impacting worldwide logistics during a period of heightened demand.

Europe

The western coast of Scandinavia and parts of central to northeast Europe were drier than normal during March 2024, but the rest of Europe was wetter than normal, based on the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI). Dryness along the Scandinavian coast persisted at the 2- to 12-month time scales. Parts of southeastern Europe were dry at the 2- to 9-month time scales, and dryness expanded across the Mediterranean coast at 3-12 months. Dryness along the Mediterranean coast intensified and spread northward into central Europe at longer time scales (24-72 months). Europe had the 11th wettest March, continent-wide, out of 85 years, based on the 1940-2024 ECMWF ERA5 Reanalysis, and the second warmest March out of 115 years, based on the 1910-2024 NOAA/NCEI record. But the continent had the warmest February-March and September-March through April-March (7 time periods). This excessive warmth increased evapotranspiration which made drought conditions more severe, as shown by the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI). April 2020-March 2024 ranked as the warmest such 48-month period, with the 48-month SPEI showing long-term drought conditions across most of the continent. Satellite observations of vegetative health (Vegetative Health Index, VHI) revealed some stressed vegetation from southern Italy to southeast Europe, in parts of Scandinavia, and across much of eastern Europe. Satellite observations (GRACE) indicated depleted soil moisture across the eastern half of Europe into central Europe as well as interior parts of Scandinavia. GRACE data also indicated depleted groundwater in these areas as well as the Mediterranean coast. The European Combined Drought Indicator showed the most severe drought in parts of southeastern Europe, the Mediterranean coast, and northern Scandinavia, with 19.1% of the EU-27 territory in Drought Watch, Warning, or Alert conditions, which is about half as much as last month.

According to media reports (WetterOnline), Tenerife, Canary Islands, and Ibiza, Balearic Islands, are both in states of severe drought, while the state of Catalonia in Spain declared a state of emergency in February amid the region's worst drought on record. The situation has been exacerbated by one of the driest winters on record. On March 1, officials in Tenerife declared a "drought emergency", limiting water usage with experts suggesting it could be years until water levels recover. The Connexion reported that multiple communes in the south of France are seeing drought warnings rise, after water levels have not replenished over the winter period. Despite plenty of rainfall in the north and center of France, some parts of the south were still facing water shortages as below-average levels of rain have fallen, in some places for more than a year. The Olive Press reported that, while increased rainfall over recent weeks has staved off an elevation of the drought emergency to Level 2, local officials in Spain confirmed that the situation remains precarious. In the province of Barcelona, Catalunya's most populated region, reservoir levels increased by only 1.09 percentage points to 11.68% after Storm Nelson brought heavy rainfall and high winds to the peninsula.

Asia

March was dry across parts of Southwest Asia, Southeast to South Asia, northern China to Mongolia, and north-central Siberia, but most of the continent was wetter than normal, with March 2024 ranking as the 29th wettest March, continent-wide, based on the ECMWF ERA5 Reanalysis. These same areas were dry on the 2- to 6-month SPI maps, with the dryness in Southwest Asia increasingly more severe. Spotty areas of dryness were also apparent in parts of Russia at 9-12 months. At 24 to 72 months, the dryness was located more in northern China to Mongolia, much of the Brahmaputra River Basin in southern Asia, parts of the Siberian Arctic coast, and most of Southwest Asia. Parts of Asia had near-normal temperatures during March 2024, but most of the continent was warmer than normal with the month ranking as the 12th warmest March, continent-wide, in the NOAA/NCEI record. However, very warm temperatures dominated 2023, with the 7 time periods from October-March through April-March ranking as the second warmest such periods on record. The dry areas in February were in the anomalously warm areas, so the SPEI showed more extreme dryness than the SPI in these areas. The persistent anomalous warmth increased evapotranspiration across much of the continent. The result was a hydrologic imbalance wherein the precipitation that fell was not able to meet the evaporative demand, so those dry areas indicated by the SPI were even drier on the corresponding SPEI maps, with dryness also indicated in western and southern Russia at 9 to 48 months. The area with the most severe and persistent dryness was Southwest Asia. Satellite observations (GRACE) showed low soil moisture, as well as low groundwater (GRACE), across much of Southwest and Southeast Asia, northern and southern India, northeast China, Mongolia, and much of Russia. March is at the beginning of Northern Hemisphere spring and soils across northern Asia are still frozen, so the soil moisture anomalies there are more evident of conditions that were locked into place several months ago. Satellite observations (VHI) revealed poor vegetative health across Southwest Asia, Southeast Asia, and parts of central Asia and northern Siberia. Drought conditions were confirmed over northern, eastern, and southwestern parts of India on the India Drought Monitor, covering about 26.5% of the nation, which is a little more than last month. Short-term drought was indicated across parts of Micronesia, especially at the 6-month time scale, and short- and long-term drought was indicated on an increasing number of the Polynesian islands south of the equator, on the NIWA Island Climate Update maps.

According to media reports (Radio New Zealand), Federated States of Micronesia President Wesley Simina declared a national emergency due to severe drought, and sent it to his country's Congress for review. The declaration noted, "The impacts of lack of rain are causing rain catchment and rivers systems across the nation to run dry; and for the inhabitants especially in the Outer Islands, who are dependent on these systems, the threat of sustained decline in water supply is causing tremendous impact upon sanitation and public health." The states of Yap, Pohnpei and Chuuk have declared an emergency according to their respective state laws. Assessment teams and residents from Yap state reported agricultural strain, with taro patches drying up, coconuts drying out, and crops yellowing. The Climate Centre added that some of the Marshall Islands' atolls and islands have not received rain in three months. Nearly 14,000 people were affected by drought, and the immediate concern was to provide water to those people for consumption and domestic use. Drought has led to some migration from smaller atolls to the capital, Majuro, and Ebeye Island.

The Daily Express Malaysia reported that various agencies and departments have ramped up efforts to assist affected localities in response to the critical water supply crisis in Papar, Malaysia, which was recently declared a drought emergency district. The impact of the drought has been severe, affecting some 150,000 residents from 40 villages, eight schools, nine residential areas, and three houses of worship in the district. Nasdaq noted the effect of drought in Vietnam on coffee prices, which rose sharply in early April — arabica posted a 3-1/2 month high and robusta posted a new record high. Concern that excessive dryness in Vietnam will limit the country's robusta coffee production is pushing robusta prices sharply higher and providing carryover support to arabica coffee prices. Coffee importer DRWakefield said that "weather conditions in Vietnam are not encouraging, and there are concerns over a possible water shortage for irrigation, which may hurt the coffee output for next season."

The Republic World reported that, in Bengaluru, southern India, parched monkeys have intensified their behavior, resorting to outright attacks such as snatching food from both adults and children. News 18 added that special prayers for the holy month of Ramadan and poojas for "good rains" were being planned across Karnataka as the southern India state is facing one of the worst droughts in the past 30 years. The Associated Press reported that Bengaluru, in southern India, experienced an unusually hot February and March and, in the last few years, it has received little rainfall. Water levels were running desperately low, particularly in poorer areas, resulting in sky-high costs for water and a quickly dwindling supply. The Japan Times added that more than half of the wells the city of Bengaluru depends on for groundwater have dried up after failed rains last year, leaving businesses and citizens dependent on trucked-in water tankers. In the northeast India state of Assam, according to The Sentinel, the ongoing problem of drought has caused the locals of Adarsha Gorehagi village in Biswanath district to resort to age-old ways to please the rain gods — marrying of frogs in a ceremony with proper rituals.

Africa

March was drier than normal in many parts of Africa and it was hotter than normal across most of the continent. Much of northern, western, central, and southern Africa were dry at the 2- to 3-month time scales, with wet areas in between in central and eastern Africa. At 6 to 9 months, the dryness was located across southern Africa, including Madagascar, and western to northern Africa, especially the Maghreb region. These areas, plus parts of central Africa, were dry at 12-72 months. The dryness was most severe in southern Africa on the 2- to 12-month SPI maps and in northern Africa (the Maghreb region) at all time scales. The continent as a whole had the 29th driest March and 12th driest January-March according to the ECMWF ERA5 Reanalysis. But southern Africa, where short-term drought was most severe, had the 12th driest March and driest January-March. Most of the continent was anomalously hot in March, with Africa experiencing the hottest March, as well as the warmest November-March through April-March (all 8 time periods), in the NOAA/NCEI record. The excessive heat increased evapotranspiration, intensifying the dryness of the regions seen on the SPI map and, according to the SPEI, adding the Horn of Africa as an area of dryness. Excessive warmth dominated 2023 and earlier years. With the last 12-, 24-, 36-, 48-, and 60-month time periods each record hot, continent-wide, most of Africa was in drought or very dry conditions, according to 3- to 48-month SPEI maps. The dryness was especially severe and widespread along the Mediterranean coast, in southern Africa, and in parts of East Africa. Models and satellite (GRACE) observations revealed persistent low soil moisture and groundwater in the Maghreb and adjacent northern and western regions, and over much of central to southern Africa. Satellite observations of vegetative health (VHI) revealed stressed vegetation over virtually the entire continent, with the most severe conditions in the north and southwest. An analysis by the African Flood and Drought Monitor estimated 28% of the continent in drought at the end of March, which was a little more than last month.

According to media reports (Deutsche Welle), scores of smallholding subsistence farmers in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa were facing withering maize fields stretching for miles. Le Monde (France) noted that the Mediterranean is experiencing its second consecutive dry year; Morocco is facing its sixth year with little or no rainfall. The average reservoir level in Morocco barely reaches 23%. The country's second-largest reservoir, Al-Massira, which serves the Casablanca region, is almost empty. In mid-February, Minister of Equipment and Water Nizar Baraka declared that, since September 2023, rainfall had been 70% below average, prompting a ban on using drinking water for purposes such as watering parks and cleaning streets. Phys.org reported that, according to Morocco's Meteorological Department, Morocco experienced record heat this winter, including the hottest January since measurements began. The North African kingdom is facing a sixth consecutive year of drought that officials have called disastrous. The Associated Press added that cities throughout the North African nation have mandated that hammams close three days a week this year to save water.

The Namibian noted that one of Namibia's few whiskey and wine producers, Erongo Mountains Winery, has turned to South Africa for grapes after drought decimated its grape production. Reuters reported that Zambia's Chambishi Copper Smelter cut one-fifth of its production due to power shortages in the country. Zambia generates about 87% of its electricity from hydropower, and lower water levels due to its current drought, the worst in two decades, have curbed power generation. ITWeb Africa noted that Zambia halted its landmark digital identity rollout exercise due to the severe drought facing the country. As March ended, the government said the Integrated National Registration Information System (INRIS) project would be postponed as part of attempts to free up financial resources to address the effects of the drought. The Associated Press reported that Zimbabwe, Africa's largest tobacco producer, began its annual tobacco-selling season in March, with officials and farmers projecting a sharp decline in harvests and quality because of a drought blamed on climate change and worsened by the El Niño weather phenomenon. Reuters added that the government of Zimbabwe estimated that 2.7 million people will go hungry this year due to the drought that has affected many southern African nations. In March, Zimbabwe was considering whether to declare a state of emergency due to the drought, and in early April, as reported by the Associated Press, the country declared a state of disaster. News Day referred to a USAid report that noted that Zimbabwe has recorded approximately 9 000 drought-related cattle deaths with over 1,4 million more reported to be at high risk due to lack of pasture and water. Capital Radio Malawi reported that people are surviving by picking wild fruits and tubers after droughts destroyed crops in parts of central Mozambique. The Associated Press noted that the southern African nation of Malawi declared a state of disaster over drought in 23 of its 28 districts, with the president saying it urgently needs more than $200 million in humanitarian assistance, less than a month after neighboring Zambia also appealed for help. Malawi is the latest country in the region to have its food supply crippled by a severe dry spell that's been linked to the El Niño weather phenomenon. The Associated Press noted that, by the end of March, the drought in Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Malawi reached Botswana and Angola to the west, and Mozambique and Madagascar to the east. CAJ News Africa added that the extreme climate shocks bedeviling Southern Africa have left more than 130 people dead since the beginning of the year.

The BBC reported that most chocolate is made from cocoa grown in West Africa, but a humid heatwave, combined with an intensifying drought, has blasted the crops and massively cut yields. Asaase Radio (Ghana) added that the price of cocoa hit a new record fueled by climate change and adverse weather conditions. In a late March price hike, the cocoa bean traded above US$10,000 per tonne on world commodity markets, US$2,000 more than the previous week.

Australia

The southwestern, southeastern, and northeastern corners of Australia were drier than normal in March, while the rest of the continent was wetter than normal. The rain in March improved conditions in the interior, with only the west and parts of the south and east coasts dry on the 2- to 6-month SPI maps. The dryness was more widespread and intense in the west and southeast, and along the east coast, at 9-12 months. This pattern persisted at the 24- to 60-month time scales, although not as severe, but at 72 months the severity increased. Monthly temperatures were warmer than normal in the east and cooler than normal in the west. March 2024 ranked as the third wettest March in the 1900-2024 record, continent-wide, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM). The Evaporative Stress Index (ESI) indicated enhanced evapotranspiration over eastern, southern, and some western areas and Tasmania due to warmth during March and previous months. The effect of the enhanced evapotranspiration shows up in the SPEI maps as more severe and widespread dryness at 1- to 12-month time scales, compared to the SPI maps. Dry soils were evident in parts of the west and east, across much of southeast Australia, and across Tasmania, according to GRACE soil moisture data. The GRACE data showed low groundwater across the west and in parts of the east, plus Tasmania. Satellite observations (VHI) revealed stressed vegetation across much of the continent, especially the west to southeast regions. These moisture anomaly patterns were confirmed by Australian Bureau of Meteorology and Australian Combined Drought Indicator analyses, which also showed low streamflows along the west coast and in scattered areas in the south and east; some areas on the coasts, and in Tasmania, had low water storage levels. Parts of New Zealand, especially central and northern areas, were in drought at the end of March, based on the New Zealand Drought Monitor map prepared by the New Zealand National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).

According to media reports (Radio New Zealand), a drought was declared in Marlborough, New Zealand, earlier this month, after months of farmers reporting they were struggling with working dry farmland and already starting to work through winter feed. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported that February and March have been driest on record for more than 100 years in some parts of Tasmania, including Hobart and King Island.

South America

In South America, March was drier than normal in parts of all of the countries, especially from Peru to western Brazil. The 2- to 12-month SPI maps show extreme dryness across Paraguay to western Brazil and along the northern coast of South America, with the dryness intensifying at the longer time scales; many other parts of the continent were dry at these time scales. These areas, as well as the southern third of the continent, were dry at longer time scales (24 to 72 months). Almost the entire continent was warmer than normal in March, with the month ranking as the warmest and second driest March in the 1910-2024 NOAA/NCEI record and ECMWF ERA5 Reanalysis, respectively; January-March ranked as the driest such 3-month period and April-March ranked as the driest such 12-month period. Excessive heat characterized much of 2023 as well as previous years. The NOAA/NCEI data show South America as having the warmest March back through April-March (all 12 time periods), continent-wide, as well as the warmest 24-month (April 2022-March 2024) through 60-month (April 2019-March 2024) periods. This persistent and historic warmth increased evapotranspiration which exacerbated drought conditions. This is illustrated by the SPEI maps that show much more intense and widespread drought at all time scales — the northern two-thirds of the continent, from northern Argentina and Chile to the northern coast, is in drought at 6-12 months, and virtually the entire continent is in some degree of drought or dryness at longer time scales. Satellite observations (GRACE) show dry soils across huge swaths of South America — from the northern coast to southern Brazil, across southern Peru and Bolivia to central Argentina, and southern Chile and Argentina — with low groundwater over these areas and extending further. Satellite analysis (VHI) revealed poor vegetative health across much of the continent, with only a few areas (from eastern Brazil to northeastern Argentina) still normal to healthy. Drought was confirmed across most of Brazil on the Brazilian Drought Monitor (National Water Agency map, CEMADEN map), in Bolivia on the Bolivian Drought Monitor, in Chile and Argentina on the Southern South America Drought Information System (SISSA) maps, and in western South America countries on the CIIFEN Western South America Regional Drought Monitor. The SISSA 3-month drought index indicated 27.7% of Chile and Argentina was in drought or abnormally dry at the end of March, while the 6-month drought index had 47.9% of the region in drought or abnormally dry; these values are less than last month.

According to media reports (Reuters), after 15 years of a devastating drought, reservoirs in Chile are running dry, imperiling access to drinking water in the Andean nation. The Cogoti reservoir in the Coquimbo region of northern Chile, a basin with a capacity of 150 million cubic meters, has been completely depleted. teleSUR noted that Brazil's National Water Agency reported that the drought in the Brazilian Amazon has caused a reduction in the flow of the Branco River to historic lows. The flow reached a mark of -39 centimeters in late March, a figure reminiscent of the record set during the 2016 drought, when the flow reached -59 centimeters. Bloomberg/Yahoo reported that Colombia's power market operator is warning that low water reservoir levels are at risk of sparking power outages across the country during peak demand hours as the hydroelectric system suffers under the effects of the drought. Reuters noted that Venezuela is battling a record number of wildfires as a climate change-driven drought plagues the Amazon rainforest region. Satellites registered more than 30,200 fire points in Venezuela from January to March, the highest level for that period since records started in 1999, according to Brazil's Inpe research agency, which monitors all of South America.

North America

In North America, the SPI showed March as drier than normal across much of western Canada and central Mexico to Central America, parts of central to eastern Canada, and parts of the U.S. Pacific Northwest, Great Plains, and Ohio Valley. At the 2- to 6-month time scales, much of Canada and Central America was dry along with parts of the U.S. and Mexico. At 9 months, dryness expanded in Canada, Mexico, and Central America, and in the U.S. extended from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. At the 12-month time scale, the southwestern U.S. was added to the dry areas. On the 24- to 48-month SPI maps, most of Canada, Mexico, and Central America, and the southern U.S. Plains to Midwest, were dry. The dryness in the U.S. shifted to the western third of the CONUS (contiguous U.S.) at longer time scales and continued in Canada, Mexico, and Central America. March 2024 was warmer than normal over Alaska and adjoining parts of Canada, and from eastern Canada to Mexico and Central America. The month ranked as the 9th warmest and 24th wettest March, continent-wide, in the respective records, while November-March through April-March (all 8 time periods) were the warmest on record. The excessive warmth increased evapotranspiration during the warm season months, exacerbating drought conditions — virtually all of Canada, Mexico, and Central America were in some level of drought, according to the SPEI, at the 9- to 36-month time scales.

According to NOAA/NCEI national analyses, the CONUS had the 17th warmest and 31st wettest March in the 1895-2024 record, with moderate to exceptional drought covering 18.0% of the CONUS (15.1% of the 50 states and Puerto Rico), which is less than a month ago. According to a Mexico National Meteorological Service (SMN) analysis, Mexico had the 6th warmest and 6th driest March, nationwide, in the 1953-2024 record, with moderate to exceptional drought covering 57.6% of the country at the end of the month, which is slightly more than a month ago. In Canada, 42.6% of the country was in moderate to exceptional drought, and 66% was classified as abnormally dry (D0) or in moderate to exceptional drought (D1-D4), both of which are less than last month. Satellite (GRACE) observations revealed extensive areas of low groundwater across much of western to central Canada and parts of eastern Canada, the southwestern U.S. to interior Pacific Northwest, parts of the Mississippi to Ohio Valley, much of Mexico, and almost all of Central America. GRACE observations of soil moisture indicated dry soils across those same areas, except more of central Canada and less of the Mississippi and Ohio Valleys in the CONUS. Satellite analysis indicated poor vegetative health across parts of Canada and the U.S., and most of central Mexico to Central America. The North American Drought Monitor product depicted drought across the northern Rockies, central Plains to Great Lakes, and parts of the Lower Mississippi to Tennessee Valleys and Pacific Northwest in the CONUS; across much of Canada, especially from British Columbia to Ontario; and from the U.S. Southwest and southern Plains across much of Mexico. The Caribbean Regional Climate Center SPI maps showed areas of short-term (1 to 6 months) or long-term (12 to 24 months) dryness across parts of the Caribbean islands, especially in the far north and far south.

In Canada, the AAFC (Agriculture and AgriFood Canada) reported that abnormally dry to drought conditions affected 82% of the country's agricultural landscape, which is less than last month. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) statistics indicated that drought affected approximately 21% of barley production, 24% of corn production, 8% of cotton production, 14% of sorghum production, 22% of soybean production, 25% of spring wheat production, 18% of winter wheat production, 14% of hay acreage, 13% of the cattle inventory, 11% of the milk cow inventory, and 17% of the sheep inventory at the end of March, with 11% of the nation's winter wheat crop in poor to very poor condition, and 32% of the nation's topsoil and 39% of the subsoil short or very short of moisture (dry or very dry). Data from the National Water Commission indicated that storage in the country's 210 main dams stood at 45%, compared to average; in most of Mexico's regions, the average regional storage was below the long-term average. The Mexican Secretariat of Agriculture (SADER) reported that production of beans and corn had a 20% reduction in the state of Zacatecas, due to the impacts of the drought. In the state, around 150 thousand hectares have been planted with irrigation systems, mainly to produce vegetables, but the scenario was complicated because the state's dams were below 50% of their capacity. The Secretariat added that Durango had less than 20% of field production, also of beans and corn. The effect of the drought was also reflected in livestock, with reports of underweight cattle, dry soils and no pastures, highlighting that it was past time for grass to grow.

According to media reports (Castanet), Canada's British Columbia River Forecast Center said that, in early March, the province had its second-lowest snowpack level of all time. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation noted that, in British Columbia, water in the Fraser River where it meets with the Nechako — itself not much more than a trickle in some spots — is at an all-time low, according to the River Forecast Centre. It's a dramatic reflection of drought in Prince George, and of the dry conditions that have plagued much of the province since the summer of 2023 in what B.C.'s emergency minister has called "a sleeping giant of a natural disaster." According to the Calgary Herald, in Alberta, Canada, the City of Calgary is taking steps to reduce its water usage, which may include enacting outdoor water restrictions. Reuters added that drought in the western Canadian province of Alberta is stretching into its fourth year and farmers and oil companies are planning for water restrictions that threaten production of wheat, beef and crude. The severe conditions have prompted Alberta to open water-sharing negotiations among license-holders for the first time in two decades, hoping to salvage output from two of its biggest industries. The Canadian Broadcast Corporation elaborated by noting that persistent and severe drought conditions across Western Canada could have a devastating effect on the oil and natural gas sector, which has drilling operations in some of the driest areas, according to a new report by Deloitte. Limited water supply could have significant effects on the production of oil and gas, the report warns, and the timing couldn't be worse for the industry as many companies are wanting to increase production and drilling with new export pipelines and facilities nearing completion.

The Associated Press (AP) reported that Mexico City's drought and water shortage was so bad that one of the capital's rainwater catchment basins caught fire in early March, scorching 75 acres (30 hectares) of dried-up vegetation. The AP added that forest fires were burning in nearly half of Mexico's drought-stricken states, fueled by strong winds. Axios noted that Mexico City neighborhoods were being forced to ration water as the drought-stricken metropolis contends with the water crisis. Ruetir added that the three main dams that make up Mexico's Cutzamala System are at 37% of their capacity, that is, 289 million cubic meters, and with a deficit of 34% compared to historical data. gCaptain reported that drought in the Panama Canal area has depleted the level of Gatun Lake, which provides water for the canal locks, allowing large ships to take a shortcut between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Gatun Lake also provides drinking water for about half of Panama's 4.5 million residents. There must be enough water for shipping and for people. The St. Vincent Times reported that, in the eastern Caribbean country of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the Central Water and Sewage Authority (CWSA) declared that certain areas receiving water from the Montreal Water System would have interruptions in their water supply, while the drought conditions persist in St. Vincent (SVG).


Citing This Report

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, Global Drought Narrative for March 2024, published online April 2024, retrieved on July 20, 2024 from https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/access/monitoring/monthly-report/global-drought/202403.