Much of the United States is experiencing drought. It is not a lie

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After months of debunked claims that fires and explosions at farms and food processing plants were proof predicted food shortages were imminent, social media users have added a new ingredient to the plot: the water.

One of these posts claims that QAnon’s refrain “look at the water”, highlights efforts to create food shortages and control Americans.

“When Q told us to watch the water, it had nothing to do with snake venom or alien invasion,” read a July 6 Publish. “Watch the water was about drought and controlling the food supply based on climate change fraud. Why do you think so many food processing plants have been burnt down?…Drought is a lie so they can close taps and limit agriculture to better control the food growth of this country and thus control the people.”

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat fake news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Learn more about our partnership with Facebook.)

“Q” refers to an anonymous internet figure who promoted a widespread and baseless conspiracy theory centered on the belief that a secret cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles, including many high-profile Democrats and celebrities, operates a network global sex trafficking operation that former President Donald Trump was recruited to take down.

PolitiFact has debunked a number of QAnon’s claims, and this post’s claim that “they” are lying about the drought to control Americans is also false.

Much of the United States is experiencing drought. National environmental information centers describe drought as “the absence of water” that “slowly creeps in and impacts many sectors of the economy, and operates on many different time scales”.

Just more than 50% of the lower 48 states were in drought as of July 12, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Integrated Drought Information System. Including Hawaii and Alaska, 44.98% of the United States was in drought.

A coyote walks through dry land that was once underwater in Lake Mead near Hemenway Harbor in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, July 4, 2022, in Boulder City, Nevada (AP)

The weekly update US Drought Watch The map shows the location and severity of drought in the United States using a classification into five categories: abnormal drought (pre-drought conditions), moderate, severe, extreme, and exceptional drought.

About 218 million acres of U.S. crops, mostly corn and soybeans that rely on rain rather than irrigation, were experiencing drought, and 40 states experienced moderate drought or worse, the week of July 6 through July 12. , according national data.

The Drought Monitor card is established by scientists from NOAA, the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and the United States Department of Agriculture who assess regional drought conditions, consult with experts, and publish the map.

“Each week, drought experts examine how recent rainfall totals across the country compare to their long-term averages,” the National Integrated Drought Information System website said. said. “They check variables such as temperatures, soil moisture, water levels in streams and lakes, snow cover and snowmelt runoff. Experts also check whether areas have impacts droughts such as water shortages and business interruptions.”

There is no evidence that these organizations are lying about droughts in the United States, as the message suggests. But we found many stories in which farmers and others reported drought-related setbacks and changes.

A California farmer said CNN he didn’t have enough water to plant crops on all his land, so he stopped growing asparagus and sweet corn. BBC reported another California farmer said he didn’t have enough water to plant his usual tomato crop. In Arizona, a farmer said CNBC he had stopped growing cotton, which requires more water, to concentrate on corn, wheat and alfalfa.

In 2021, the severe drought in the West emptied the reservoirs, reducing the production of hydroelectric plants. Electricity generation is down 25% at Hoover Dam in Nevada, one of the largest hydroelectric generators in the United States, The Associated Press reported. Compared to a 10-year average, California’s hydroelectric plants generated 48% less electricity in 2021 — and the outlook for 2022 is worse, per MIT Technology Review.

Houseboats sit in the drought-lowering waters of Lake Oroville, near Oroville, Calif., April 19, 2022. (AP)

ABC News in Australia reported that the Great Salt Lake in Utah has lost nearly half its area compared to the historical average and contains only a quarter of the water it contained at its peak in 1987. Since 2000, the flow of the Colorado River has decreased by almost 20%, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Researchers attribute 42% of the prolonged drought in the South West since 2000 and 19% of the 2021 severe drought in the South West due to human-induced climate change, The Washington Post and CNBC reported.

Some places have Position regulations to conserve water, but there is no evidence that these actions are linked to efforts to reduce food supplies and control Americans.

Our decision

A Facebook post claimed “drought is a lie” designed to limit agriculture, reduce the food supply and ultimately control Americans.

There is no evidence to back up this claim, which the post links to unsubstantiated conspiracy theories. Data shows that more than 50% of the contiguous United States was in drought as of July 12.

We rate this claim Pants on Fire!

RELATED: This list of 95 items does not prove that there are ongoing plans to create food shortages

RELATED: What is QAnon, the baseless conspiracy spreading through American politics?

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