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.