This could be the time to replace those luscious grass lawns with hardy cactuses.
Low water levels in reservoirs along the Brazos River could mean water restrictions for Galveston County residents as another dry summer looms, Ivan Langford, the Gulf Coast Water Authority’s general manager, said.
According to information from the U.S. Drought Monitor, which is produced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and National Drought Mitigation Center, almost 18 percent of Texas is in exceptional drought. While the hardest hit areas are in Central and North Texas, the drought still has an effect on Galveston County, which is listed as being abnormally dry.
“We rely on two sources of water in the Brazos River — the run of the river and what’s stored in the lakes,” Langford said.
The authority provides water to most of the municipalities, industries and farmers in the area.
As May began, water stored in the lakes along the Brazos River was at the lowest point its been since the drought began about six years ago, Langford said.
“Potentially, this is going to be our toughest year,” he said.
Rice farmers in the area have seen their ability to irrigate curtailed by about 85 percent. If there is no rain in the Brazos Valley, residents in the area can expect to see “a request for some severe reductions in water usage, particularly outdoor water use.”
Langford said if it doesn’t rain before the summer’s out, authorities might have “to ask customers to have zero outdoor watering.”