Religious leaders of multiple faiths in the US states of Nevada and Utah are joining together in response to severe drought conditions gripping the country’s West.
Their joint pleas to above come weeks after the federal government declared parts of 11 parched Western and Central states natural disaster areas.
Faith leaders asked for divine intervention during a special multi-faith service on Saturday at a Mormon church in the Reno suburb of Sparks.
And on Sunday, the Utah Farm Bureau Federation asked the public to join in prayer and fasting for snow and rain for livestock and crops as part of its Harvesting Faith event.
“We can’t go to the Legislature to ask for help, (so) we decided to go to the guy upstairs,” Ron Gibson, a dairy farmer in Weber County, Utah, told the Deseret News.
“One thing you learn as a farmer is most of the things that happen in your life are totally out of your control.”
Rajan Zed, who organised the Nevada service, said Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Baha’i and other faith leaders who participated are confident it’ll bring positive results.
The special events were held two weeks after the federal government designated portions of 11 drought-ridden Western and Central states as primary natural disaster areas, highlighting the financial strain the lack of snow and rain is likely to bring to farmers in those regions.
The announcement by the US Department of Agriculture included counties in Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Kansas, Texas, Utah, Arkansas, Hawaii, Idaho, Oklahoma and California.
California officials announced Friday they won’t send any water from the state’s vast reservoir system to local agencies beginning this spring, an unprecedented move that affects drinking water supplies for 25 million people and irrigation for 1 million acres of farmland.
A snow survey on Thursday in the Sierra Nevada, one of the state’s key water sources, found the water content in the snowpack is just 12 per cent of normal.
Some Nevada farmers have said they’re considering not irrigating fields after three years of below-normal rain and snow.