It takes a lot of water to support a population. The nearly nationwide heatwave of the past week has people focusing on climate change and what that might bring. While it is impossible to ascribe any single weather event to climate change, it is also certain that the change in the ratio of record high to record low temperatures across the US is due to climate change and it is almost certain that this change is being driven by us.
Texas, despite pleas to his deity by its governor, has been particularly hard hit. NPR has a fascinating page on the current event and yesterday aired the first of two pieces on Texas agriculture - a transcript and a link to the audio can be found here.
It needs to be emphasized that climate change has been taking place and will continue, accelerating in intensity. Extremely weather is one of the consequences, but the location and severity of local climate change - what does it mean for where you live? - is still developing and happens to be extremely difficult to predict
Progress in area prediction is being made. Scientists use elaborate and somewhat different climate models. Agreement among these models is one of the signals that is used and the models are constant improvement. It turns out one of the clear signals is the American Southwest and Texas will become increasingly hotter and drier.
Technology made it possible to make much of the American Prairie useable to regular agriculture, but now there are issues with the great Ogallala Aquifer - the great natural resource technology taps - and the future of agriculture in the area is becoming hazy. And even if enough water can be brought in (ask the Chinese about the difficulty of doing this), it appears that the productivity of several key plants drops dramatically with increasing temperature and carbon dioxide levels.
Change is indeed here - how we adapt to it will be very expensive and there is likely going to be a redistribution of winner and losers.