The last thirty years have been much more wet than average. We are overdue for a significant drought in southwest Missouri.
Periodic droughts occur naturally and are inevitable. In southwest Missouri the “drought of record” in the 1950’s is used as a benchmark for severity of drought. That intense drought lasted five years (1952-1956) and brought enormous and long-lasting hardships to the region.
During drought, water use tends to go up just when supplies are at their lowest. Water planners in the region calculate how much water will be needed in the future based on projected population and business growth, plus the need to have enough water during a drought of record, when demand is highest.
Development of additional water supply and infrastructure will protect communities and citizens during times of drought.
SWMO Water has funded extensive technical studies that show a gap between current water supply and future water demand, especially during drought.
Drought preparation requires proactive planning and investment. Projects to secure future water supply and build transmission infrastructure take years to complete.
In order to ensure adequate future water supply for regional communities,
especially during drought, additional surface water will be needed to supplement
Acquiring additional surface water supply from Stockton Lake, and developing the infrastructure to deliver that water to regional communities, will protect southwest Missouri communities from hardships during future droughts.
Conservation efforts, especially during drought, will help extend current water
supply, but we cannot conserve our way to a total solution.