Drought Officially Over in Texas

By Mike Hernandez

SAN ANTONIO -- The drought is officially over in Texas! At least that's what the state climatologist declared on Tuesday.

The drought maps from early 2011 when the drought had just started to now there is a stark contrast. Almost the entire state was under extreme drought conditions.

Now fast forward to today's map, what a difference.

So yes, it's easy to see how the claim that the drought is over statewide can be made. And even though San Antonio has received two times as much rainfall so far this year compared to what we normally get, there are a couple of glaring issues that are still of great concern for us.

One is the current low aquifer level and the other is lakes like Medina, which is still at only 4-percent capacity. But even locally the news isn't all bad.

Our lawns and gardens are lush and local farmers aren't complaining either.

Rader Gilleland, a Uvalde County Farmer explains, "well it certainly been a lot better than it has in the year's past. We have ample ground moisture, the crops are in better shape and the pastures are in really good shape."

And even with us looking at more good rain chances over the next few months, San Antonio Water Systems (SAWS) says they are not planning to lift Stage Two restrictions in the foreseeable future because of low aquifer levels and the need to recharge .

And how this news affect farmers plans moving forward?

"I think our current cropping rotation is probably going to stay the same for quite some time,"{}Gilleland says. "We're still in Stage Five and we're nowhere near out of the drought."

So it appears that the bottom line for us seems to be, even though the drought may officially be over, we're going to proceed slowly and a have a wait and see attitude.

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