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Agriculture and the Environment

Megadroughts, Pt. 3: The Future

Utah State Parks

According to climate scientists, hotter, drier conditions are here to stay in the Western U.S. for the foreseeable future. That means that things are going to change. How we live, how we recreate, how we grow food — it’s all going to change, all because of water and the lack of it.

Scientists sounded the alarm years ago that a megadrought was likely for the West in the near future. That future has arrived. This Friday at noon we are talking about what that means and how we’ll adapt to this new normal. According to our guests, it’s going to require some serious thinking about how much water we use, how we use, and how we think about something we haven’t ever really had to think about. The real question is, do we have the cultural and political will to make the deep cuts and big changes necessary to survive if not thrive?


  • Paolo Bacigalupi is a Hugo and Nebula award-winning science fiction and fantasy writer. His books include The Windup Girl and The Water Knife.
  • Zach Frankel is the executive director of Utah Rivers Council, a nonprofit organization advocating for the state's rivers and water sources.
  • Dan McCool is an emeritus professor in the political science department at the University of Utah, where much of his research is focused on water law and water resources in the West.
  • Candice Hasenyager is the director of the Utah Division of Water Resources.
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