Despite Recent Rain, West Texas Remains in a Severe Drought

Despite Recent Rain, West Texas Remains in a Severe Drought
(Source: KWES)

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Even after Wednesday night's rains, the Basin is still in a severe drought. In fact, it's one of the worst droughts on record in centuries.

"The state climatologists says that 90% of Texas today, even with the recent rains, is still in some form of drought status," Texas State Agriculture Commissioner, Todd Staples, said.

The current drought is estimated to be one of the five worst droughts in over 500 years. Staples and Midland Mayor Jerry Morales are challenging citizens to be Texas Water Smart and continue saving water.

"I think when you have a nice rain like you had last (Wednesday) night and when you see the grass is a little greener on its own, you tend to have the thought process that I don't need to be water conscious," Staples said.

"Our population continues to surge, development continues to grow," Morales said. "We know that a community to continue thriving, you gotta have water."

Midland city leaders have already made progress by securing future water sources with the T-Bar Ranch and Clearwater Ranch projects.

"I would say for the next 40-50 years, we're in a very good position," Morales said.

But these projects come with a high cost.

"Infrastructure is very expensive," Morales said. "Midland's own pipeline, 68 miles, was over $200 million."

"The least expensive water that you can have is water that is conserved, water that is saved," Staples said.

In the meantime, Morales said Midland has to stand out when it comes to water issues in the state legislature. He said partnership with other nearby cities will do just that.

"We have to compete with Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio who are very wealthy and can handle that on their own," Morales said. "We have to be a stronger metro, West Texas metro and that's what we're doing."

Both men said conservation is a team effort.

"We have to be fierce in our drive to make certain that we're making smart decisions and developing good long range plans," Staples said.