Whenever it has rained or snowed in the West this winter, ranchers and farmers have wondered whether the new moisture has been significant enough to break the drought and get their operations back to normal.
The sad truth is, there is no real “normal” condition in much of the arid West. We spend most of our time either in drought or recovering from it. And regardless of when the meteorological drought finally breaks, it will be many more years, if ever, that farms and ranches will be able to recover from what we might call hydrological and economic drought. Reservoirs will take years to refill, and the food economy is fraught with instability.
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