The American west is drying out. Things will get ugly

Restrictions. States like Arizona and Nevada are almost guaranteed to have their water allotment from the Colorado River cut back, which through a complicated drought contingency tier system agreed to by states in 2019 will affect farmers first. But the warning signs are there for urban areas and surrounding states to conserve and evolve.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, served by a different water system, residents are being asked to reduce water usage by 15% compared to 2019. Houseboats were removed from the state's second-largest reservoir because the water level fell so low. The hydropower plant at the same reservoir may be forced offline for the first time because of low water.