• Tech Tech

New satellite images reveal concerning effect of years-long drought: 'The situation is disastrous'

This is just another example of drought threatening a major metropolitan area with water shortage.

This is just another example of drought threatening a major metropolitan area with water shortage.

Photo Credit: NASA Earth Observatory

Satellite images from NASA show the land surrounding one of the planet's most famous cities drying up fast, almost unrecognizable compared to just a year ago.

What's happening?

Satellite images from February 12, 2023, show the mostly lush green landscape of Morocco surrounding Casablanca, the country's largest city. Images taken just a little over a year later, on February 19, 2024, tell an entirely different story.

The new image shows a mostly barren landscape with pockets of green. Although the images show a stark difference in just a year's time, Morocco has been suffering through drought for several years, and this winter just saw a particularly low amount of rainfall.

Morocco has been forced to cut water usage because of the drought, including a big drop in the area of land that can be irrigated due to reservoirs that are now at critical levels.

According to the North Africa Post, Morocco's water minister, Nizar Baraka, said in late 2023, "The water deficit reported in many regions, notably the south and the north, is very serious," adding, "The situation is disastrous."

Why is this concerning?

This is just another example of drought threatening a major metropolitan area with water shortage. Drought and record heatwaves have been affecting parts of Europe and North America, causing water and crop shortages

In one of the world's most populous cities, Mexico City, the residents may be nearly out of water by summer.

While extreme weather events happen all the time, these are not isolated instances. In each scenario, it's a pattern over a matter of years brought on by the overheating of the planet. 

If water shortages persist around heavily populated areas, threatening lives and livelihoods, residents will be forced to flee to other areas, putting a strain on local resources and becoming a perpetual issue until rising temperatures are dealt with.

What can I do to help?

Fortunately, due to the fact that it's a global issue, people around the planet can do their part to reverse the trends.

If you can afford it, make your next car an electric vehicle, and if not, maybe try an e-bike or e-scooter if you just need to get around town. Take public transit or walk if you don't have to go too far. Every little bit helps to reduce the amount of carbon pollution being released into the atmosphere, which only adds to the rising global temperatures.

Install solar panels on your home if you can, which will save you money and help the planet.

Finally, one thing that everyone can do that costs literally nothing and actually saves money is unplugging devices when they're not being used. It may not seem like much, but every little bit adds up over time.

Join our free newsletter for weekly updates on the coolest innovations improving our lives and saving our planet.

Cool Divider