Depending on conditions, Texas could be drought free by September

Lake Travis on Memorial Day 2017. (KXAN Photo)
Lake Travis on Memorial Day 2017. (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (Nexstar) — Even though we’re just getting into the thick of summer, Texans could see relief in the fall, after the latest data from the Texas Water Development Board indicated drought conditions could improve. Based on current forecasts, Texas is expected to have a wetter summer this year, and if that holds TWDB expects drought conditions will be removed over most of the state by the end of September.

Austin resident Ariana Garza said she’s glad to see lake levels up in in the area. “We can go and do more things on the water this summer,” Garza said.

Dr. Robert Mace, deputy executive administrator with TWDB, said cities across the state are experiencing an “accordion” of drought.

“We have drought expanding, it’s contracting, almost week to week depending on where the rain is falling and where the rain is not falling,” Mace said. “And of course, a key question is what’s going to happen through this summer across Texas?”

“Texas is extremely varied from the swamps of Houston all the way to the deserts of El Paso, so the way drought expresses itself is also very different,” Mace explained. “We tend not to have as many droughts out in East Texas than we have say in Central Texas, and then we tend not to have as many droughts here [in Austin] as say, you have out in West Texas.”

Mace said agencies compile local and regional data to assist in determining drought status. Even if conditions do not warrant an adjustment in drought level, Mace said Texans still ought to prepare for water restrictions.

“Continue to conserve water,” he mentioned. “If you’re in a drought, for obvious reasons you want to preserve your water supply, because you may need it down the line if the drought continues. If you’re out of a drought, it’s not a matter of if there’s going to be another drought, it’s really a matter of when there’s going to be another drought. So everything that we can do today to use water the most efficient way possible helps us and the folks around us.”

To access the Texas drought monitor, click here.

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