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Drought Worsens in Western Missouri

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/droughtwor_1401.mp3

Portions of western Missouri face worsening drought conditions and Governor Matt Blunt has reactivated the statewide Drought Assessment Committee to deal with the drought. Twenty-one western counties are now in the conservation phase of a drought, meaning water conservation efforts are necessary. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

Dry conditions across western Missouri have caused concern among farmers and state officials.

Steve McIntosh is the surface water section chief for the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

He explains why 21 western counties stretching from the Iowa border to portions of Southwest Missouri are in the conservation phase of a drought.

McIntosh says people in these counties ought to consider reducing the amount of water they use.

State officials use information from the U-S National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA to determine how much rain it would take to pull Missouri counties out of the drought.

Steve McIntosh with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources says the statistics from NOAA are not encouraging.

McIntosh says it's important to remember that parts of Missouri have been in a drought for years.

According to state officials, all but 20 Missouri counties are in some phase of a drought at this time.