Texan Drought

Whilst many parts of the United States have suffered drought this summer, for Texas it’s been going on for years. Wells and reservoir levels are at a fraction of what they should be and farmers and residents have been forced to face some big changes. Climatologists say this is the second worst drought in recorded history but if it continues it could soon surpass that experienced in the 1950s.

Tom Heap visits cattle and crop farmer Kenneth McAlister who lives near one of the areas in ‘exceptional drought’ – Wichita Falls. The lack of rain has made it hard to grow feed and he’s had to reduce his herd size. Many others have done the same or left farming altogether – which is beginning to change the face and identity of this state famed for ranching. Some recent light rain has only brought with it grasshoppers and dangerous weeds on the land.

Meanwhile, to preserve water supplies in Wichita Falls evaporation suppressants are being sprayed onto reservoirs and water companies say they’ve started ‘direct potable reuse’ – reducing the stages between flush and faucet – which has garnered an interesting response.

With over 1000 people moving to Texas each day and business being encouraged to boom Tom asks what’s being done to save precious water supplies and ensure there’s enough to go around.

Producer: Anne-Marie Bullock.

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