Parched

The 13 Thirstiest States From Arkansas to Iowa

The Daily Beast finds America’s drought-stricken states most in need of a good rain and a cool drink.

Getty Images (top left); AP Photo (2)

Getty Images (top left); AP Photo (2)

Eighty percent of the United States is mired in a drought the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the Dust Bowl era.

While the repercussions of a poor agricultural season will be paid for at grocery stores checkouts for months to come, some states are clearly feeling the brunt of the devastating drought more than others.

To find the Thirstiest States in America, we used data from June 1 to July 16 from the National Drought Mitigation Center and the U.S. Geological Survey. We specifically looked at the percentage area of each state that has experienced extreme or exceptional drought conditions—the two worst levels of drought tracked by the NDMC. But because some states are better prepared than others to deal with dryness, we also took into account each state’s drought-preparedness plans, according to the NDMC, using our own 1 to 5 scale, with 1 being the least prepared and 5 being the most prepared. Finally, we accounted for how thirsty each state’s streams and waterways are, based on the percentage of streamflow in the bottom 10th percentile of the lowest ever recorded.

Scott Olson / Getty Images

13. Iowa

Severely dried water sources: 30.98%

Total areas with extreme drought: 0%

Drought plan status score: 4 (Responds when drought occurs)

Rogelio V. Solis / AP Photo

12. Mississippi

Severely dried water sources: 35.24%

Total areas with extreme drought: 0.29%

Drought plan status score:  2 (Delegates drought response to local authorities)

Sue Ogrocki / AP Photo

11. Oklahoma

Severely dried water sources: 29.85%

Total areas with extreme drought: 5.11%

Drought plan status score:  4 (Responds when drought occurs)

Steven Hausler, The Hays Daily News / AP Photo

10. Kansas

Severely dried water sources: 26.85%

Total areas with extreme drought: 12.49%

Drought plan status score:  4 (Responds when drought occurs)

Spencer Platt / Getty Images

9. Colorado

Severely dried water sources: 14.52%

Total areas with extreme drought: 40.81%

Drought plan status score:  5 (Attempts to mitigate drought)

Mark Lambie, The El Paso Times / AP Photo

8. New Mexico

Severely dried water sources: 25.70%

Total areas with extreme drought: 24.88%

Drought plan status score:  5 (Attempts to mitigate drought)

Michael Conroy / AP Photo

7. Indiana

Severely dried water sources: 30.98%

Total areas with extreme drought: 13.64%

Drought plan status score: 4 (Responds when drought occurs)

Ethan Miller / Getty Images

6. Louisiana

Severely dried water sources: 46.59%

Total areas with extreme drought: .03%

Drought plan status score: 2 (Under development)

Ken Ruinard, Independent-Mail / AP Photo

5. South Carolina

Severely dried water sources: 45.35%

Total areas with extreme drought: 5.79%

Drought plan status score: 4 (Responds when drought occurs)

Dave Martin / Getty Images

4. Alabama

Severely dried water sources: 42.52%

Total areas with extreme drought: 15.35%

Drought plan status score: 4 (Responds when drought occurs)

David McNew / Getty Images

3. Arizona

Severely dried water sources: 45.07%

Total areas with extreme drought: 22.28%

Drought plan status score: 5 (Attempts to mitigate drought)

Jessica McGowan / Getty Images

2. Georgia

Severely dried water sources: 55.91%

Total areas with extreme drought: 35.08%

Drought plan status score: 5 (Attempts to mitigate drought)

Danny Johnston / AP Photo

1. Arkansas

Severely dried water sources: 44.20%

Total areas with extreme drought: 23.07%

Drought plan status score: 1 (No drought plan)