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Navigation and Transportation

Drought impacts port and waterway transportation and supply chains, resulting in increased transportation costs. Higher temperatures that often coexist with drought can impact roads, airport runways, and rail lines.

Shipping Routes and Drought

U.S. Navigable Waterways
U.S. Drought Monitor
U.S. Roadways
U.S. Drought Monitor
U.S. Air Traffic
U.S. Drought Monitor
U.S. Railways
U.S. Drought Monitor

Key Issues

Ports and Waterways

Drought reduces available water-based transportation routes and limits cargo-carrying capacity.

Pavement and Rail Lines

Higher temperatures that often coexist with drought can impact pavement performance, affecting roads and airport runways, and cause rail line buckling.


When water supplies are depleted in drought, increased use of groundwater can cause the ground to sink (called land subsidence). Subsidence damages infrastructure and can cause sinkholes.


Smoke from potentially drought-related wildfires can affect visibility severely enough to close roads and airports.

Related Content

Data & Maps | Temperature & Precipitation

Access current, historical, and forecasted information from this collection of foundational datasets and maps.

Data & Maps | Water Supply

Access datasets and maps for monitoring water supply.

Data & Maps | Fire

Smoke from wildfires can reduce visibility enough to close airports and roads. Access information on current conditions and outlooks for fire risk, potential, and occurrence.

By Sector | Manufacturing

During drought conditions, reductions in or interruption of the water supply can result in reduced plant productivity or even lead to closure of manufacturing facilities.