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Water Utilities

Drought can result in significant operational impacts to water utilities, including a loss of water supply and poor source water quality. Building drought resilience for water utilities means increasing their ability to respond to water supply threats, withstand impacts from drought, and quickly recover when drought does occur.

U.S. Water Supply Conditions

The map depicts real-time streamflow conditions compared to historical streamflow conditions for the day of the year. U.S. Geological Survey stream gages are displayed alongside current drought conditions from the U.S. Drought Monitor. Learn more.

The National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) produces precipitation outlooks for the U.S., which depict the probability (percent chance) of above-normal, below-normal, or near-normal conditions during the noted time frame. This map shows the CPC's 6-10 day precipitation outlook. Learn more.

Streamflow Percentiles
Value Map Hex Color
Low #ff0000
Much Below Normal (< 10%) #b12121
Below Normal (10% - 24%) #ffa400
Normal (25% - 75%) #00ff00
Above Normal (75% - 90%) #40dfd0
Much Above Normal (> 90%) #0000ff
High #000000
U.S. Drought Monitor
Value Map Hex Color
D0 #ffff00
D1 #ffcc99
D2 #ff6600
D3 #ff0000
D4 #660000
Probability (Percent Chance) of Below-Normal Precipitation
Range Map Hex Color
33% - 40% #f0d493
40% - 50% #d8a750
50% - 60% #bb6d33
60% - 70% #9b5031
70% - 80% #934639
80% - 90% #804000
90% - 100% #4f2f2f
Probability (Percent Chance) of Above-Normal Precipitation
Range Map Hex Color
33% - 40% #b3d9ab
40% - 50% #94cd7e
50% - 60% #48ae38
60% - 70% #3a7b5f
70% - 80% #008e40
80% - 90% #28553d
90% - 100% #285517
Value Map Hex Color
Near-Normal Conditions #a2a2a2
Key Issues

Operational Impacts

Drought impacts on water utility operations range from loss of water supply to increased costs and reduced revenues. 

Increasing Demand

Higher temperatures result in increased water demand for both agricultural irrigation and drinking water supply.

Aquifer Depletion

Limited surface water storage, among other factors, has contributed to significant depletion of aquifers in many U.S. regions.

Related Content

Data & Maps | Water Supply

Identify and access datasets and maps for monitoring water supply.

Data & Maps | Snow Drought

A collection of tools for accessing observed and forecasted snow data.