Kansas Water Office

Environment
6:48 am
Thu February 7, 2013

How Close Is Kansas To Another Dust Bowl?

A huge dust storm moves across the High Plains during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.
Credit USDAgov / Flickr

If Kansas' current drought continues through 2013, the severity of the water shortage may rival the bad years of the 1930s and '50s.

The drought is already causing problems and prompting Wichita city officials to think about water rationing.

The drought is bad by several measures. This year's winter wheat harvest will likely be well below normal, due to low rain during planting last fall.

For ranchers, there isn't as much grazing land, so they'll likely have to sell their cattle earlier at lower weights. And area rivers and streams are near record low levels.

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