Here is a partial list of Texas Drought Project activities for the coming months. There will be much more information available in the next few weeks, so watch for our announcements!

 

Saturday, August 17th—Third Coast Activist building, 5604 Manor Road—all day. A session co-sponsored by Working Films brings Texas environmental organization directors a chance to utilize films to promote their goals and issues. For more information, contact alyssa@texasdroughtproject.org.

 

Saturday, September 21st—Bastrop Civic Center—Independent Texans, together with the Texas Drought Project and a host of other environmental groups, brings you a discussion on the constitutional amendment which would take money for the Rainy Day Fund to spend on evaporation pond, otherwise known as reservoirs. Come hear a cogent discussion, attend workshops and learn about how conservation is the real answer to Texas' water woes. For more information, contact Linda Curtis, ljcurtis@indytexans.org

 

Friday, October 4th—LBJ School of Public Affairs, Bass Auditorium, all day.The Office of Sustainability of the City of Austin, the LBJ School, the Climate Adaptation Center of Georgetown and the Texas Drought Project bring to Austin “Climate Resilience and Adaptation Strategies: A Capital Area Symposium.” For more information, contact alyssa@texasdroughtproject.org

 

(Date to be determined)—first week of November, San Antonio—all-day conference on Climate Change. The Office of Sustainability of San Antonio, Imagine San Antonio, Solar San Antonio and the Texas Drought Project are planning now for this informative session on climate change. For more information as it comes about, contact alyssa@texasdroughtproject.org

 

 

Much, much more to come!

The Texas Drought Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating Texans about climate change through the lens of drought. We follow closely the work of noted scientists like Dr. Richard Seager of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, who has predicted perpetual drought and dust-bowl conditions as the “new normal” for the American southwest. More and more in the last few years, we have seen that his projections have come true. Agricultural production has dropped, crop failures have increased, millions of trees have died, wildfires have escalated, water has been restricted to some economic sectors and water reservoirs have dropped—in some cases, precipitously. Lake Meredith, in the Panhandle, is at 0.00% of capacity. Medina Lake is at 5%. Throughout most of the year, more than half of the reservoir regions have reported less than half of capacity in their regional reservoirs. But this is the prelude, if researchers are correct, because the future will present a far drier and uglier picture.

 

Medina Lake, Easter, 2013



Maybe it's dry where you live. Maybe it just rained. Chances are good that if your region falls into the second category, people are saying that the drought has broken and you don't need to worry about it. In simple terms, they're wrong.

 

They might be participants in the Hydro-illogical cycle:


Or they might be confused about different types of drought. We've all heard of these:

 

Agricultural

Hydrological

Metereological

 

But the one we don't hear that much about is one which affects so much of Texas in the 21st century—socioeconomic drought. With too many straws in the same resources, nature can't be expected to produce the same water supplies for us that it did when Texas' population was much smaller. And with areas like the Coastal Bend and the Austin-San Antonio corridor expected to double in population in less than fifty years, we can't reasonably expect to have enough water for everyone. That's why a discussion among reasonable people needs to start now.

 

Connection with Climate Change

 

Experts say that much of what we can expect with perpetual drought and increased aridity in Texas will primarily be due to climate change. At this point, we can mitigate the effects of climate change by decreasing greenhouse emissions—but we can't stop it. That's why it's so important to create communities of “resilience”--communities that have the ability to sustain themselves in crisis, communities that make the most of the resources they have. The Texas Drought Project is working with experts from around the nation and around the world to create Texas communities, both urban and rural, which observe these principles and plan for a more arid future. Together, we can assure that our children and grandchildren have the same opportunities, the same quality of life, that we had.

During the summer of 2012, the Texas Drought Project collaborated with graduate education students at the University of Texas at San Antonio to create guidelines for a curriculum on Climate Change, for use by students in grades three to eight. The Montessori school and other schools connected with the Incarnate Word Catholic schools of Corpus Christi will be adopting these guidelines and using our recommended books and activities starting this fall. If your private, religious or other school faculty is interested in finding out more, please contact us and we will forward you our initial findings. We can meet with you in person to determine your exact classroom needs.