New study: River recovery from drought can take years
Since about 2020, North America has been in a drought that has caused water shortages, threatened crop yields, and killed wildlife. After a wet winter this year, drought conditions have improved. But that doesn’t mean that water supply woes are over. Even after rain returns to dried-out areas, the impact of precipitation drought (also known as meteorological drought) persists in rivers for months or even years. In new research published in the Journal of Hydrology, scientists reported that the lag time between the return of regular rain and the recovery of a river to its normal conditions can be years long. … River recovery lag times are increasing as climate change makes Earth’s atmosphere thirstier, said Jeffrey Mount, a geomorphologist and senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California.