Skip Nav
Drought conditions in Texas saw little relief in August, with much of the state above average in temperature and below average in precipitation. The high heat has compounded the already problematic hydrological drought with new short-term deficits, leading to high fire risks and poor crop moisture profiles, particularly in the eastern and southern parts of Texas. Burn bans are present in 190 counties and most cities seeing some sort of water restriction in place, including Pflugerville implementing new Stage 3 restrictions for the first time ever. Lake Travis has dropped low enough to prompt the shutdown of a new $140 million water treatment facility in Cedar Park. A recent $2 billion funding bill for water resources is even seeing controversy with rural residents concerned that their water supplies will be used for city-use only.

Drought conditions throughout the month have been particularly taxing to farmers. Cotton yields are expected to be only half of that planted due to dry conditions, while rice farmers along the coast will not see a second crop at all because of low water on the Brazos River. The middle of the month, however, did see some rainfall and cooler temperatures, but not without problems of their own. Storms dropped several inches of rain and hail in the Panhandle, ruining late season crops and possibly prompting disaster declaration, and caused over 100,000 customers in Houston to go without power on the 16th.

August started and ended with high temperatures pushing triple digits, warranting several days of high heat warnings across the state. Many outdoor activities were interrupted over the course of the month, with additional stresses to the state's power supply. The heat has affected different businesses in different ways, with water parks seeing boosts in numbers while tourist traps like the River Walk in San Antonio losing revenue. The former relates to a new water park, costing Pflugerville $21 in public funds, which is raising concerns over its water supply use in a region that already is facing hydrological conditions.
Geosciences TAMU Logo

Aggies can change the world. Geoscientists lead the way.