Drought in Texas
Droughts are, and will continue to be, a fact of life in Texas. A drought occurs when there is a lack of adequate precipitation over an extended period of time. Some part of the state is likely to be in a year-long drought once every three years.
Visit the National Drought Mitigation Center’s U.S. Drought Monitor to find out if your region of the state is currently in drought.
The drought of 2011 was the driest and warmest year ever recorded since the State began keeping weather records in the 1890s. During 2011, the average rainfall across Texas was 14.89 inches, down from a normal average of 27.78 inches, and average temperatures in some areas approached 10 degrees above normal.
The drought of the 1950s is still considered the worse multi-year drought in recorded history. However, tree-ring data indicate that many regions of Texas have experienced several droughts of greater duration and intensity than during the 1950s.
During a drought, not as much rainfall fills our rivers and reservoirs or recharges our aquifers. This lack of rainfall, combined with extreme heat, has devastating impacts on our state, causing drinking water shortages, severe wildfires, loss of life and property, and other environmental and economic damages. With less water available for human use during drought, it is important to prioritize our essential water use and reduce non-essential uses, such as frequent lawn watering.