State Climatologist on the latest drought information
Dr. John Nielsen-Gammon, Texas State Climatologist and professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M University, sat down with TWRI earlier this week and provided insight on the current drought. The following quotes from the interview are provided for you to use in news releases and publications. (Nielsen-Gammon has given permission for these quotes to be used, with the requirement that the quotes are not altered in any way and attribution is given.)
"Since October 1 (2010), we've had a little more than 9 inches of rain on average for the state; normal would be about 23 inches, so we're well below 50 percent."
"If we don't get 4.5 inches of rain between now and the end of September, we will have the driest one-year period ever, surpassing 1956, which is the drought of record for most places."
"Up until the last month or so, the outlook for this winter looked really promising. Some of the indications now say that we might see another La Niņa developing, which will tilt the odds toward another dry winter. The thing to worry about is the 50 percent chance of a La Niņa this winter and the possibility that the drought will continue and water supplies will continue to get worse."
"I suspect that if the drought continues like it has, sometime next year some places in the state will exceed their drought of record and with the increase of population and the increase of water use we'll start seeing some serious problems. Hopefully during the next few months places will work out and try to figure out, 'Well, what would happen if we had another dry year like this one? How much projections in water use would that be? What restrictions would we have to put in?.' Not often can you see a disaster coming a year in advance, and certainly the odds are against a disaster next year, but the odds are a lot better now than they would be in other years. So this is a rare opportunity to plan ahead for a disaster that may be coming and prevent it from becoming a disaster."
"It's important to separate optional uses of water from mandatory uses of water. You have to drink; you don't necessarily have to keep your lawn green throughout the year. The more water that gets conserved now, the more water is available for next year if the drought goes on into next year."