#1. Arizona



– Share of state experiencing drought conditions (20-year average): 87,702 sq. mi. (76.9% of land area); 4,867,057 people (76.1% of population)

— Moderate drought: 64,563 sq. mi. (56.6% of land area); 3,644,322 people (57.0% of population)

— Severe drought: 38,251 sq. mi. (33.5% of land area); 2,049,987 people (32.1% of population)

— Extreme drought: 15,949 sq. mi. (14.0% of land area); 780,806 people (12.2% of population)

— Exceptional drought: 2,642 sq. mi. (2.3% of land area); 63,034 people (1.0% of population)

Arizona is a southwestern state that spent much of the last 20 years in a near-constant drought, and the numbers aren’t much better this year. The state is taking significant steps—including recycling wastewater and banking water underground in reservoirs—to prepare for a future without access to what has long been its lifeblood: water from the Colorado River.

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