Extreme drought in Western US

By Diego Maloney 

So far through 2022, temperatures have increased to near record levels across the globe, resulting in fatalities and damage associated with once-in-a-century extreme weather events occuring every few years instead. The Western United States (US) is no exception to this.

The region has been greatly affected by extreme drought, forcing residents to the brink in search of some form of relief. This year’s drought has allowed for large wildfires to grow unimpeded, scorching large swathes of land, causing ecological disaster in some cases and affecting local economies sustained by cropland and tourism.

The economic downturn associated with these extreme weather events will likely continue in 2023, affecting the states who are most prone to extreme drought, namely Arizona, California, Utah and Texas, as well as parts of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado and Oklahoma.

Those working with livestock, a popular profession in the western US, will be forced to adopt new, innovative strategies to ensure the prosperity of their animals and the quality of their products which in turn may greatly impact available food sources in the region. The anticipated cost of cooling and water systems will also likely increase given the expected demand and scarcity in the near-term.

There is also a human cost to be concerned about as dozens of people have succumbed to extreme temperatures in 2022 that have often exceeded 40 degrees Celsius (105 degrees Fahrenheit), with 12 deaths alone in Arizona’s capital in the span of a week.

More than 130 heat-related deaths are accounted for each year in the US making the upward trend of daily high temperatures a grisly prospect. Some climate models predict several Western US counties to experience at least one day of 52 degrees Celsius (125 degrees Fahrenheit) as early as 2023 with hundreds more added by 2050.

Climate change is driving extreme weather events and will continue to exacerbate them in the future, testing the limits of emergency readiness and infrastructure. Emergency services in recent years have been strained by a lack of resources in comparison to the scale of the problem at hand. Further ecological and economic damage should be expected unless concerted efforts are made to mitigate the effects of future droughts and provide relief in prolonged periods of extreme heat.

Reinvigorating attempts to fight the impact of future protracted droughts is vital as climate data continues to show unpromising predictions for the coming decade. Local and regional authorities will need to produce coordinated efforts in anticipation of next year’s forthcoming summer season. We will likely see secondary contingent plans also set in place in order to account for extreme droughts worsening in the years to come.

Diego Maloney is a US-based political and security risk analyst.


Human intelligence. Powered by technology.

Protect your organisation’s assets

Complement your expertise with our comprehensive risk reports
You can concentrate on protection strategies because we’ve already done the initial research. Riskline has risk reports for over 225 countries and regions around the world, and city safety reports for over 250 cities. We follow developments around the world everyday so you can stay focused on protecting your assets.

Let our experts show you how Riskline can keep you informed.

Power your data-driven insurance

Risk intelligence that helps you manage loss ratios and generate new revenue
Improve the accuracy of your underwriting and dynamic pricing models with our suite of destination risk reports and 24/7 global alerts. We follow developments around the world everyday so you can take comfort that your product decisions reflect up-to-date risk information. Our data can also be integrated as a value-added service by providing pre-travel advice and risk alerts that keep customers updated wherever they are in the world.

Let our experts show you how Riskline can keep you informed.

Manage COVID-19 disruptions

Your single trusted source for COVID-19 risk and restrictions around the globe
Stay updated with our up-to-the-minute information on testing, vaccination and quarantine requirements, COVID-19 infection rates and trends, and local restrictions. You can easily integrate our data directly into your systems through our dedicated COVID-19 API and TravelCheck widget, or get detailed reports in one place through the Microsite.

Let our experts show you how Riskline can keep you informed.

Offer travellers vital trip information

Offer your clients a full package of travel services
You’re the experts in bookings, itineraries and expenses, let our experts take care of destination risk assessments and real-time travel alerts. In this increasingly volatile world, you can offer your customers the best view of where it’s safe for them to travel, and what to expect on their trip.

Let our experts show you how Riskline can keep you informed.

Make decisions quickly with verified information

Ensure duty of care for employees and stay updated
When responding to a crisis you want to stay up-to-date with accurate information. We take care of providing up-to-date risk alerts so you can focus on planning and acting. Our destination risk reports ensure your employees are well prepared when they travel to high-risk areas, with detailed analysis of on-the-ground risks and baseline operating conditions.

Let our experts show you how Riskline can keep you informed.

Travellers are safer when they stay informed

Riskline Alert Messaging operates all day, every day. Each alert contains essential intelligence, practical advice and precise geographic data about risks to traveller safety or impacts on travel plans. When we are able to get advanced warning, notices are also issued for events happening in the future.
Riskline Informer
Keep informed of key developments around the world.

Helping travellers manage Covid-19 disruptions

We have closely tracked developments associated with COVID-19 since late 2019, gathering detailed information on entry and exit requirements, You can get our real-time COVID-19 intelligence via alerts, API, microsite, and the TravelCheck widget.
Let our experts show you how Riskline can keep you informed.

Risk ratings you can build a travel policy around

Riskline has detailed assessments for more than 225 countries and territories around the world. Each report has an easy-to-understand Risk Level™ that can be integrated into travel policies and other business operations. Risk assessments include an overview of the security and travel safety situation in a country, and detailed analysis of the political, terrorism, conflict, unrest, crime, natural, health and local transport risks.
Let our experts show you how Riskline can keep you informed.

Know more about where you actually go

We assess the safety of more than 250 global cities, assigning each a clear Risk Level. In addition to city-specific threats and other local knowledge, every report has a map of important locations down to street level.
Use Cases
See how our City Safety Reports can help keep your travellers safe.

People make better decisions when they have the full picture

Advisories are detailed assessments of ongoing security situations and travel issues. We publish reports for high-risk geographic areas, political and security crises, persisting travel disruptions and major upcoming events, such as elections and international sporting competitions.
Let our experts show you how Riskline can keep you informed.

Everything your travellers need to know before they travel

Riskline’s TravelPrep provides important safety information directly to travellers, empowering them to travel safer and smarter.
Let our experts show you how Riskline can keep you informed.

Get prepared before you travel

Riskline Pre-Travel Advisories (PTAs) are exactly what a traveller needs to know about their destination before they leave home. Each report is a concise summary of the security and travel safety situation for any destination, and can be sent straight to travellers’ emails.

Let our experts show you how Riskline can keep you informed.

The right guidance for specific needs

Not all travellers are the same. Riskline’s Specific Traveller Advice includes country-specific information tailored for LGBTQ+ travellers, female travellers and tech-dependent travellers.

Riskline Informer
Keep informed of key developments around the world.

Covid-19 travel advice at your fingertips

Don’t let COVID-19 confusion get in the way of your customers’ decisions. Give them a tool at their fingertips that lets them see the implications of Covid on their travel plans and how best to prepare for their trip. TravelCheck displays up to date risk and infection scores, at-a-glance information on their destination and need-to-know information on departure, in-flight and arrival.

It’s easy to customise your widget with your own brand colour and poster image, to seamlessly integrate it into your website.

Our simple Javascript installation will get you up and running in no time. A few lines of code is all it takes to install the widget, with 2 display modes available – inline for embedding into a single page, or modal for a floating, site-wide travel assistant.

Interested in trying our TravelCheck widget? Get in touch.