Another week, another update from the U.S. Drought Monitor. And today’s numbers bring some good news for much of the state: Texas is at its lowest levels of drought since more than a year ago.
Nearly 17 percent of the state is now completely drought-free (now including Houston). Compared to the peak of the drought, when 88 percent of Texas was in the worst stage of drought, “exceptional.” And other major cities like Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio are either drought-free or in the lower levels of drought.
But the situation in West Texas continues to be dry, as you can see from the map at the right. Lubbock, Midland and Odessa and their surrounding areas are still in the worst stages of drought. 14 percent of the state is still in “exceptional” drought, a great improvement from last fall and down from 32 percent just three months ago.
And as the levels of drought drop across Central, North and East Texas, water restrictions are being lifted. Kyle, Round Rock, and several cities in North Texas have eased restrictions recently. But not everyone is moving in that direction. Dallas-Fort Worth is considering permanent watering restrictions, drought or not. You can read more about the drought at our new interactive page, Dried Out: Confronting the Texas Drought.