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How to Quench the American West’s Thirst

Farmers in the western United States argue that without access to relatively affordable water for cultivating feed-related crops such as alfalfa, the cost of beef and dairy products would increase. But why should the American public subsidize the production of beef and dairy products or the cultivation of rice in a desert?

CAMBRIDGE – A megadrought – the worst in 1,200 years – has been ravaging the American West for two decades, fueling wildfires and exacerbating the region’s chronic water shortages. As global temperatures continue to rise, severe droughts are becoming more frequent and intense – a trend not limited to the United States. Southern Europe, East and North Africa, Australia, and certain parts of Asia and Latin America are also grappling with extreme water scarcity.