Dried up: Texas cities in fear of running out of water

Read the full story at The Hill.

The American West is experiencing its driest period in human history, a megadrought that threatens health, agriculture and entire ways of life. DRIED UP is examining the dire effects of the drought on the states most affected — as well as the solutions Americans are embracing.

As the Western U.S. suffers under its worst drought in a millennium, the government of Texas, a state that faces its own unique set of dangers from extreme weather, is at last turning to deal with the threat that climate change poses to its long-term water supply. 

Texas’s situation is sufficiently dire that in July, a majority-Republican panel on the state legislature voted unanimously to require the state water planning board to consult with the state climatologist as it advises cities in planning to meet the state’s water needs in the future.  

The rule change “removes the possibility that the political climate could harm [local water officials’] ability to plan responsibly for the future,” state Sen. Nathan Johnson (D), a major backer of the shift, told The Hill. 

“It kind of insulates the regional water authorities from political pressures that would harm their ability to do what they need to do,” Johnson said.  

But that process won’t bear fruit for years — and Texans increasingly worry that the crisis is here now. 

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