Following a summer of wildfires and drought, Greeley city officials asked homeowners to voluntarily stop watering their lawns Oct. 1, two weeks earlier than normal, to conserve water for next year. In just two weeks, residents saved roughly 96 million gallons of water, or enough to supply 640 homes for a year.
After one of the driest summers on record, recent rains have helped in some parts of the country. But overall, the drought has still intensified. The latest tracking classifies more than a fifth of the contiguous United States in "extreme or exceptional" drought, the worst ratings.
In some parts of the Lower Midwest, water-starved crops have collapsed, but the farmers have not. Farmers across the country are surviving, and many are even thriving. This year, despite the dismal season, farmers stand to make exceptionally good money, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Drought conditions remain dreadful in much of the country; the Drought Monitor produced by the Drought Mitigation Center says 54.25 percent of the United States is in moderate drought or experiencing something more sinister. This includes "severe, extreme and exceptional", the worst categories in the drought conditions index.