An article in the USA Today explores the possibility of another major dust storm in our lifetime, such as the one in the Dust Bowl period. It focuses across parts of Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, and Oklahoma where Gary McManus, a climatologist for the region, states that the area is already so dry "that just a small increase in average temperatures could quickly cause critical amounts of moisture in the soil to evaporate." Furthermore, the Ogallala Aquifer by which the area is supported is being diminished due to the increased demand from agriculture and surrounding cities. However, Larry Thorton, an editor of the Muleshoe Journal, believes "living on an arid plateau plagued by tumbleweeds and tornadoes has taught people they can overcome just about anything." For me, it's unclear how they'll overcome the problem of water deprivation in the future. Many local farmers, though, have taken steps to reduce their water use by changing their irrigation methods; some have even resorted to "dryland farming" relying on the land's precipitation, 17"yearly, since their wells have become dry. Also another goal of the region that affects moisture availability is the removal of salt cedar trees planted to prevent soil erosion, yet the trees have been found to absorb huge amounts of water which decrease ground water levels. The possibility of another dust storm period is unclear given low water availability and a warming climate. But many farmers are confident in denying this prediction due to their "better farming techniques" and knowledge of what to expect based on past events. I think it's critical for the area to consider not only the possible reoccurrence of a dust storm, but also and most importantly their water resource strain. The article further predicts the migration of the population if the land can no longer support life. In my opinion, this will put an even greater strain on other state's resources as well causing further future problems.
"On Plains, concern about another Dust Bowl"
"Non-native Invasive Freshwater Plants"