Reporting Jeff Ray
FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - The wildfire that started burning near Possum Kingdom Lake on Monday is now under control, but attention has turned to another serious (and related) problem — drought. All of North Texas is in a moderate drought, and conditions are worse this year than they were in 2012.
Last year at this time, 66 percent of Texas was in drought status. This year, that number is already at 92 percent.
North Texas draws most of its water supply from area lakes. Those located to the west of DFW have the lowest levels. Eagle Mountain Lake is only at 77 percent capacity. Lake Pat Cleburne is at 70 percent capacity. And the total capacity for all North Texas lakes is just 78 percent.
There are some showers set to move through North Texas, and that will help a little bit. But, since March and the start of spring, only four and a half inches of rain have fallen in our area. That is half of what we should have seen. To make matters worse, this is coming just as North Texas heads into the dry season.
It would take about 15 inches of rain this summer to get out of the drought. That is twice the amount that DFW normally sees in a summer.
How can you help?
The Texas A&M AgriLife Research Center in Richardson has retrofitted an older house to meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense guidelines. The house uses less than half the water of a normal home. They capture rain water for use on the outside lawn. The outdoor landscaping uses drought-resistant plants and grass, watered with special sprinklers. And, best of all, anyone can take a tour of the home and learn how to utilize the same techniques at any home across North Texas.
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