Longview (Texas) News-Journal: With some exceptions out west, most of Texas this spring has seen recovery from last year’s devastating drought. Rain has fallen, streams, ponds and reservoirs have filled and lush greenery has come forth.
East Texas is in great shape, better than much of the rest of the state.
But our typical summer heat has not yet begun, and the rains could dry up at any time. In fact, despite current conditions, experts say the state could quickly slip back into drought when summer’s grip tightens.
Even as torrential rains Friday were pounding North and East Texas, Gov. Rick Perry renewed his proclamation of a drought emergency, extending a similar proclamation from July. The governor initially declared the drought a disaster in December 2010. The proclamation allows municipalities to apply for state assistance in dealing with the drought’s impacts, including fighting and recovering from wildfires. It also officially notes the added strain on state water resources with no Texas water plan.
That strain is our foremost concern. We believe it requires leaders throughout the state to act now to be prepared.
Already, many of the state’s big-city mayors are considering rules to limit lawn watering and other domestic water use (permanent restrictions begin Monday in Dallas). The Texas Water Development Board is reviewing guidelines to help towns decide when to restrict water usage. We support such local actions, and believe lawmakers should put the state’s long-term water needs high atop their list of concerns.
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