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Drought intensity lessensDrought intensity lessens

99 percent of Texas is currently in drought and reservoir levels are not improving, even with recent rainfall.

Ron Smith 1

July 30, 2013

2 Min Read
<p> Despite recent rain, Texas remains in drought conditions.</p>

Considering the recent rain that has fallen across much of the Southwest in the last week to 10 days, one could assume that Texas is in better shape in regard to drought conditions than at this time last year.

That would be wrong.

The latest Texas Water Development Board drought report indicates that 99 percent of the state is currently in drought. At this time last year, 88 percent of the state was considered in drought status.

But it’s not all bad news, according to the report. “Recent rains reduced the intensity of drought with the most severe category–exceptional—decreasing from 12 percent to 6 percent,” the report states.

On the flip side, however, “The rains were not enough to help the reservoirs. Statewide reservoir storage continues its downward slide, 100,000 acre feet lower this week than last.”

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Rainfall has not been enough to move the overall drought index. Last week, 99 percent of the state was considered in drought; that’s the same as three months ago, so the trend continues.

Those reservoirs remain at 64 percent full across the state, unchanged from last week despite rainfall. The report notes that Brazos Bottoms reservoirs are “collectively at 66 percent full with 8 of the 28 reservoirs less than half full. The drought has led to low flows in the river, which has resulted in priority calls—a senior right holder calling for junior right holders to stop using the river.”

Reservoir levels were at 66 percent full three months ago, down from 73 percent last year and well below the normal capacity of 82 percent.


Also of interest:

Rains make a difference but drought far from over

Some promising moisture but drought persists in Texas

Drought limits 2013 hay supplies

About the Author(s)

Ron Smith 1

Senior Content Director, Farm Press/Farm Progress

Ron Smith has spent more than 40 years covering Sunbelt agriculture. Ron began his career in agricultural journalism as an Experiment Station and Extension editor at Clemson University, where he earned a Masters Degree in English in 1975. He served as associate editor for Southeast Farm Press from 1978 through 1989. In 1990, Smith helped launch Southern Turf Management Magazine and served as editor. He also helped launch two other regional Turf and Landscape publications and launched and edited Florida Grove and Vegetable Management for the Farm Press Group. Within two years of launch, the turf magazines were well-respected, award-winning publications. Ron has received numerous awards for writing and photography in both agriculture and landscape journalism. He is past president of The Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association and was chosen as the first media representative to the University of Georgia College of Agriculture Advisory Board. He was named Communicator of the Year for the Metropolitan Atlanta Agricultural Communicators Association. More recently, he was awarded the Norman Borlaug Lifetime Achievement Award by the Texas Plant Protection Association. Smith also worked in public relations, specializing in media relations for agricultural companies. Ron lives with his wife Pat in Johnson City, Tenn. They have two grown children, Stacey and Nick, and three grandsons, Aaron, Hunter and Walker.

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