A quick look at the latest drought-related headlines.
“Save the Wells and Drink More Beer”
Videographer Jeff Heimsath and reporter Mose Buchele of StateImpact Texas visited Spicewood Beach, the 1,100-person Lake Travis community outside of Austin that ran out of water on January 31, leaving the Lower Colorado River Authority (which operates the town’s well) to deliver it by truck, several times a day.
As StateImpact’s Terence Henry reported, it could be six to eight months before the town has a longer-term solution.
Henry also reported that the LCRA will began cracking down on homeowners who are drawing up to 1,000,000 gallons of water from the Highland Lakes without permssion, while Buchele asked whether any other Texas towns are close to running out of water.
Winter Weather No Help
West Texas may have been a winter wonderland last week, but the recent rain and snow was not really enough to make an impact, Matt Hamilton of Amarillo’s ProNews 7 reported.
Texas Wheat Producers executive assistant Kody Bessent told Hamilton that precipitation for the past three months is still just fourteen percent of normal levels, and that this year’s wheat crop probably won’t bounce back–but that increased rainfall now and into the coming summer could help with the next wheat planting.
Leslie Josephs of the Wall Street Journal reported (subscription required) on this spring’s expectations for cotton planting, which will be down nearly eight percent nationally compared to last year. Josephs reports that the National Cotton Council expects the drought to ease, resulting in an increased harvest, but if extreme drought were to continue, levels would drop back to what they were in 2011.
And, of course, the drought’s been most extreme in Texas. Lenorah cotton farmer Myrl Mitchell told Josephs that 2011 was “the poorest year we ever had” and his 2,000 acres “didn’t produce a single bale.”
In other news, the Guyer High School girls basketball team missed its first 29 shots in a 5A playoff loss to Flower Mound Marcus on Monday, reported Ben Baby of the Denton Record Chronicle . Wrote Baby, “At a time when teams are required to play their best, the Guyer Lady Wildcats suffered a scoring drought that could only rival the lack of rain in Texas.”