Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas

Emily Donahue

  • Email: edonahue@stateimpact.org

Life By the Drop: Dry, the Beloved Country

Photo by Mose Buchele for StateImpact Texas

A cow that perished on a ranch outside of Marfa was dried "like jerky" by the drought.

Jake Silverstein of Texas Monthly contributed to this article. 

It’s a disaster unlike any other. Floods, hurricanes and earthquakes enter swiftly and destroy efficiently. But a drought doesn’t herald it’s arrival. And people usually don’t pay attention to drought until the damage is already done.

For most Texans, especially those living in big cities, a drought is usually little more than an irritation—a brown lawn or a high water bill.

But for Texans living in the country, it’s a little different. For them, a drought is impossible to ignore.It can mean the end of a family tradition or a way of life.

Yet it requires a truly extreme drought, like the one we suffered last year, before the average city-dweller sits up and takes notice.

What happened during the drought was unprecedented—an average of just 14.8 inches of rain fell across the entire state. It was the driest year in recorded Texas history. Continue Reading

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