Indiana Drought


Over half of our country is experiencing moderate to sever drought conditions. The rain gods are surely not smiling on us this Summer. The drought is causing all sorts of problems for everyone. Our yards and flower gardens are suffering due to an extreme lack of rain.


There are Four Drought Stages

  • Drought Watch – The least severe of the stages, a drought watch is declared when a drought is developing. Public water suppliers begin to conserve water and urge customers to reduce water use.
  • Drought Warning – Voluntary water conservation is intensified. Public water suppliers and industries update and implement local drought contingency plans. Local agencies make plans in case of emergency declaration.
  • Drought Emergency – The Governor may declare emergency. The Disaster Preparedness Commission coordinates response. Mandatory local/county water restrictions may be imposed. Communities may need to tap alternative water sources to avoid depleting water supplies, protect public health and provide for essential uses.
  • Drought Disaster – Disaster plans are implemented. Water use is further restricted. The Governor may declare disaster and request federal disaster assistance. Emergency legislation may be enacted. The state provides equipment and technical assistance to communities.


Not only are our personal gardens, crops and lawns suffering, so is the farming industry. Cows are dying or becoming ill from dehydration or water contamination. Corn and soy beans are not producing any usable crops.

Our water supply is suffering as well. In Indianapolis, officials are imposing a water usage ban. This means residents can be fined for watering their lawns, gardens, or even washing their cars. The drought is so bad mandatory conservation is in order for everyone.

Drought and Surface Water

Drought can impact surface water quality in many ways. Reduced stream and river flows can increase the concentration of pollutants in water and cause stagnation. Higher water temperatures in lakes and reservoirs lead to reduced oxygen levels, which can affect aquatic life and water quality. Runoff from drought-related wildfires can carry extra sediment, ash, charcoal, and woody debris to surface waters, killing fish and other aquatic life by decreasing oxygen levels in the water. The effect of wildfires on drinking water was graphically demonstrated during the 1996 Buffalo Creek fire in Colorado, which was followed by heavy rains. This event forced municipal water supplies to shut off, caused one of Denver’s water treatment plants to close, required extensive cleaning of a water-supply reservoir, and forced a local beverage manufacturer to begin hauling in water for use during production activities.
The filtration components in surface water treatment facilities are designed based on historical water quality data and are effective at removing microbiological contaminants from untreated source waters. If source waters have unusually high sediment loads, such as those caused by wildfires, they can easily clog these filters. Ash particles, which are often much smaller than the microbes the surface water filters are designed to remove, can also flow through the filters and adversely impact the aesthetic quality of the water delivered to customers. In extreme circumstances, mudslides could render a surface water facility inoperable for some time, which may prevent water from being supplied for domestic, as well as fire control purposes (Idaho Department of Environmental Quality 2007).

Drought and Ground Water

Many parts of the United States are dependent on groundwater as a primary source of water. Reduced precipitation and increased evaporation of surface water can impact the recharge of groundwater supplies over time. Of all groundwater systems, shallow groundwater aquifers that exchange water with surface waters are likely to be the most affected by drought. Several areas throughout the Southeast and Southwest have reported decreased levels of water in wells in the face of drought, with many shallow wells becoming dry. Drought in coastal areas can increase saltwater intrusion into fresh groundwater supplies. The lack of rain and drying of surface water prevents the replenishment of fresh water in aquifers, which allows saltwater to enter.

Bottled water is not an answer to compensating for drought. Some bottled water is the same water you get from your own tap. Drought or not, the only way to insure your drinking water is as safe as it can be is to filter it. Municipal water or private well, protect and conserve the water we have. To really know what is in your water, have it tested. Once you know what needs to be removed, purchase a quality water filter system and drink healthy.


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