Drought Wilts Texas

This doesn’t bode well for my portable water slide business1

Wisconsin countryside

A combination of record-high heat and record-low rainfall has pushed south and central Texas into the region’s deepest drought in a half century, with $3.6 billion of crop and livestock losses piling up during the past nine months.

The heat wave has drastically reduced reservoirs and forced about 230 public water systems to declare mandatory water restrictions. Lower levels in lakes and rivers have been a blow to tourism, too, making summer boating, swimming and fishing activities impossible in some places.

Nearly 80 of Texas’ 254 counties are in “extreme” or “exceptional” drought, the worst possible levels on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s index. Though other states are experiencing drought, no U.S. counties outside Texas currently register worse than “severe.” In late April, the USDA designated 70 Texas counties as primary natural-disaster areas because of drought, above-normal temperatures and associated wildfires.

[Click to continue reading Drought Wilts Texas – WSJ.com]
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Catch Anything?

[The Pedernales River running over limestone formations at Pedernales Falls State Park, west of Austin.]

and in the 21st century Water Wars we often joke about, these sorts of restrictions will only become more dire.

As Texas aquifers and reservoirs dip to record lows, threatening municipal water supplies, the biggest cities — Houston, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio — and 230 others have implemented water restrictions on residents.

San Antonio’s water department is encouraging residents to report neighbors if they catch them violating restrictions, and since April more than 1,500 citations have been issued, said department spokesman Greg Flores.

In Central Texas, Lake Travis and Lake Buchanan are down 55% and 49% in volume, respectively. They provide drinking water to more than a million people, including residents of Austin.

Sunrise Late ride
[Sunrise over Lake Michigan]

Does make me glad to be living so close to such a massive amount of fresh water in the Great Lakes, and not in Texas.

  1. lame joke indeed, but am pressed for time []

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