Driest States in the US

By PropertyClub Team
Jan 20th 2024
The United States is a vast and diverse country, home to many climates and landscapes. While some states boast lush forests and abundant rainfall, others face the challenge of arid conditions and limited water resources. Read on to explore the driest states in the US.

hash-mark12 Driest US States

  1. Nevada
  2. New Mexico
  3. Arizona
  4. Utah
  5. Montana
  6. Wyoming
  7. North Dakota
  8. Colorado
  9. South Dakota
  10. California
  11. Idaho
  12. Nebraska

hash-markNevada (Annual Precipitation: 9.56 inches)

Nevada, home to the iconic Las Vegas, is a state grappling most with aridity. With an average annual precipitation of approximately 10 inches, Nevada is the driest state in the US. The state's reliance on the Colorado River and its intricate water management strategies, including the Hoover Dam, underscores the importance of water conservation in this parched landscape.

hash-markNew Mexico (Annual Precipitation: 12.38 inches)

Situated in the southwestern part of the country, New Mexico faces arid conditions with an average annual precipitation of around 12 inches. The state's water resources are critical for agriculture, especially in areas like the Rio Grande Valley. Sustainable water management practices, including efficient irrigation techniques and water conservation measures, are crucial to addressing the state's water challenges.

hash-markArizona (Annual Precipitation: 12.61 inches)

Situated in the southwestern region of the United States, Arizona is known for its hot and arid climate. The state is characterized by vast deserts, including the Sonoran Desert, where temperatures can soar to extreme levels. 

With an average annual precipitation of around 13 inches, Arizona faces significant water challenges. The Colorado River is a crucial water source for the state, and water conservation efforts are essential to sustain the growing population and agricultural needs.

hash-markUtah (Annual Precipitation: 13.57 inches)

Known for its stunning red rock formations and national parks, Utah experiences a semi-arid to arid climate. The state's average annual precipitation hovers around 13.5 inches, posing water challenges for its residents and industries. 

The Great Salt Lake is a prominent geographical feature, but its salty waters aren't suitable for widespread consumption. Utah's water management efforts include promoting water-efficient practices and exploring alternative water sources.

hash-markMontana (Annual Precipitation: 14.33 inches)

Montana, often referred to as "Big Sky Country," experiences a diverse climate across its vast landscapes. While the western part of the state has a more temperate climate, the eastern regions, including the Great Plains, face arid conditions. 

With an average annual precipitation of about 14 inches, Montana grapples with water challenges, particularly in its agricultural sector. The management of rivers and aquifers is crucial for sustaining both urban and rural communities, emphasizing the need for thoughtful water conservation practices.

hash-markWyoming (Annual Precipitation: 14.39 inches)

Wyoming, known for its rugged mountain ranges and expansive plains, confronts arid conditions in various regions. With an average annual precipitation ranging from 14 to 15 inches, the state relies heavily on the management of its rivers and reservoirs, including the Yellowstone River and Flaming Gorge Reservoir. 

Water conservation measures are essential to support the state's agriculture, energy production, and growing population while preserving its natural ecosystems.

hash-markNorth Dakota (Annual Precipitation: 15.65 inches)

North Dakota, situated in the northern Great Plains, experiences a semi-arid climate with an average annual precipitation of around 16 inches. The state's agriculture, a significant contributor to its economy, relies on effective water management strategies. 

With an emphasis on sustainable irrigation practices and the utilization of the Missouri River, North Dakota strives to balance its water needs with the preservation of its ecosystems.

hash-markColorado (Annual Precipitation: 17.04 inches)

Colorado, known for its stunning Rocky Mountains, faces diverse climatic conditions ranging from alpine to arid. The state's average annual precipitation varies from 17 to 18 inches, with arid conditions prevailing in some areas. 

Colorado heavily relies on the Colorado River for water resources, but increased demand and prolonged droughts have prompted the state to implement innovative water conservation initiatives. Efforts include efficient irrigation practices, water recycling, and public awareness campaigns to promote responsible water use.

hash-markSouth Dakota (Annual Precipitation: 18.14 inches)

South Dakota, located in the northern Great Plains, experiences a continental climate with semi-arid conditions in certain areas. The state's average annual precipitation ranges from approximately 18 to 22 inches. 

Sustainable water management is crucial for supporting agriculture, including the cultivation of crops like corn and soybeans. The Missouri River, along with various aquifers, plays a vital role in meeting the water needs of South Dakota's communities and industries, highlighting the importance of conservation efforts.

hash-markCalifornia (Annual Precipitation: 18.91 inches)

While California is often associated with the lush landscapes of its coastal regions, it also has areas facing severe water scarcity. The state's Central Valley, known as the "breadbasket of the world," relies heavily on irrigation for agriculture. 

With recurring droughts and an average annual precipitation ranging from 18 to 20 inches, California has implemented strict water conservation measures, such as water use restrictions and investment in water-saving technologies.

hash-markIdaho (Annual Precipitation: 21.00 inches)

Idaho, known for its diverse landscapes ranging from mountains to high desert areas, experiences a continental climate with varying precipitation levels. The state's average annual precipitation ranges from around 20 to 22 inches. While the western part of the state tends to be more temperate, southern and eastern regions face arid conditions. 

Idaho relies on the Snake River and its tributaries for water resources, supporting both agriculture and urban areas. Water conservation measures, including efficient irrigation practices and reservoir management, are crucial to address the state's water challenges and ensure sustainable water use.

hash-markNebraska (Annual Precipitation: 22.63 inches)

Nebraska, situated in the Great Plains, features a varied climate, with the western part experiencing semi-arid conditions. The state's average annual precipitation ranges from about 22 to 25 inches. Nebraska's agriculture, a cornerstone of its economy, heavily relies on the management of the Platte River and the Ogallala Aquifer. 

The state has implemented water conservation initiatives to balance the needs of agriculture, urban areas, and the preservation of natural ecosystems.