Drought Tracking and Texas’ Extreme Weather

Drought map Drought Tracking and Texas Extreme Weather

Living in Austin, TX, it was pretty obvious that last year with its record number of 100+ degree days without rain, thousands of square miles burned in wildfires, and billions lost on agriculture that we were in the middle of a serious drought. The impact across the state and throughout much of the South since October 2010 is staggeringly reviewed in this simple flipbook-style map from NPR.

The potential solutions to the problem are outlined in the Water Plan. It will be interesting to see how the continuation of this drought will affect job growth, home prices, population, and more throughout the state in the coming years.

Various plans for dealing with future droughts and growing demand for water in Texas exist, but most comprehensive — and accepted — is the state Water Plan. It offers a frank assessment of the current landscape, saying Texas “does not and will not have enough water to meet the needs of its people, its businesses, and its agricultural enterprises.” It predicts that “if a drought affected the entire state like it did in the 1950s,” Texas could lose around $116 billion, over a million jobs, and the growing state’s population could actually shrink by 1.4 million people.

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