As Drought Returns to Texas, Report Recommends Stricter Rules on Outdoor Water Use
Less than three years after the end of a drought that devastated much of Texas, and just months after Hurricane Harvey delivered one of the wettest months in over a century, more than half the state has slipped back into abnormally dry conditions.
To reflect on what has and hasn’t changed, Paul Cobler of the Texas Tribune traveled to Wichita Falls, a small city in North Texas that was particularly affected by drought between 2010 and 2015, adopting serious regulations around outdoor water use and even launching one of the largest direct potable reuse (less delicately called toilet-to-tap) programs in the country.
This all coincides, Cobler writes, with the release of a report from the Texas Living Waters Project that recommends permanent restrictions on outdoor water use. Like most towns in Texas, Wichita Falls loosened restrictions on water use when the rain returned, but as Cobler’s article points out, conservation play a huge role in how the state plans to meet future water demand as its population soars and drought inevitably returns.