An inconvenient thirst : a look at the 2008-2009 Texas drought
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The 2008-2009 Texas drought rivals the 1950s drought, known as the “drought of record,” as one of the state’s worst droughts in recent memory. Prolonged periods of little to no precipitation combined with high temperatures and the strain of population growth have created disastrous conditions especially across the southern and central regions of the state, which have been hardest and longest. At one point, more than 83 percent of the entire state was in some form of drought and the United States Department of Agriculture declared more than half the state as a primary natural disaster area due to losses from drought, above-normal temperatures and associated wildfires. More than $4 billion in agricultural losses have been predicted as a result of the drought. Even after heavy rains have lifted nearly all of Texas out of drought, there are still counties in extreme and exceptional drought. It is clear that water issues will continue to impact the state socially, economically and ecologically, so it is crucial for all Texans to have a better understanding of the myriad ramifications drought can have on various industries and communities throughout the state.