Lack of Rain Sparking Drought Concerns In The Big Country

The Almanac restarts each calendar year and may be deceiving to those who haven't looked at it. In 2017, rain totals were 3.88 inches below average on the year. And the hole continues heading into the new year.

Anyone who lives in the Lone Star state know's how important it is to pay attention to the drought monitor map, which is released every Thursday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. While, there has been a lack of rain in the Big Country as of lately, the chance for any rain in the next several remain slim to none.

William Woods, A salesman at Garden World in Abilene, TX, say's "for this time of year the biggest thing people can really do is to keep the ground moist if it's going to get excessively cold. And the cold snap we had a couple of days ago, we were fortunate enough to have had a little bit of moisture to get in the ground right before the cold came in. You know mother nature took care of that one. If we do get another cold spell and we stay dry, people need to go around and water the trees and shrubs, the moisture in the ground really keeps the roots insolated."

It takes water for plants to grow, and rain for this time of year is at a bare minimum. While, Taylor County may not be in any drought at this time, there is a portion of the County marked as abnormally dry.

Woods explains, "anytime the drought gets bad enough because of the water ration gets tighter I think that people do get concerned about putting money into trees or shrubs, and whether they can water it enough to keep it going."

The recent droughts over the last few years have really put a hurting on local businesses. At Garden World, in the Summer of 2015, plant sells went down a bit and a lot of people were concerned how much watering they could do with the restrictions in place. They saw a huge increase in foot traffic with people needing help and tips on how to keep their plants alive with the issues of having a lack of water. Woods mentioned that many were actually watering their plants to much during that season. Plants growing in soil that is to wet, suffer from a lack of oxygen, which leads to the death of roots.

Economic concerns set in for many local businesses when droughts start to become extreme throughout West Central Texas. And it all starts with water restrictions and lower lake levels. 

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