As last year’s historic drought reminded us, Texas has always lived life by the drop, just a few dry years away from a serious crisis. With our population expected to nearly double over the next fifty years, this situation is about to become more, not less, challenging. This month we look at the past, present, and future of water and drought in Texas and explore the solutions that give us hope.
We threw more energy and resources at the subject than ever before for the collection of stories on drought and water featured in our July 2012 issue. Coming off the worst single-year drought in Texas history, with apocalyptic signs all around (towns running out of water, lake levels precipitously low, wildfires ravaging the countryside, cattle dying or sold off by the hundreds of thousands), we decided to go big. Not only has every feature story in this issue been turned over to an exploration of how Texas has dealt with drought over the years, but we’ve partnered with our friends at KUT and StateImpact Texas to create an hour-long radio companion to the issue. KUT is an old friend, with whom we’ve teamed up on many past occasions. Last November the station launched StateImpact, a local reporting project aimed at increasing coverage of the critical energy and environmental issues facing the state. The show we created together, which is based on the stories in this issue, will air on numerous public radio stations across Texas beginning on June 22, but you can listen to it here.