Southern Plains still grappling with persistent drought

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Drought MonitorThe Drought Monitor map, released on July 10, 2014. Unlike California, a wet June over the nation’s heartland helped to slowly erode portion of drought on the southern and central Plains, but it wasn’t enough to bring the region out of drought.

The latest Drought Monitor report showed that over the last month, these storms have made significant improvements in drought conditions over much of Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas:

Figure 1: Percent in Extreme (D3) to Exceptional (D4) drought


July 10, 2014

June 12, 2014










The area still has a long way to go before eliminating drought completely, but at least it’s chipping away at the drought; however, concerns about water in the region still remain.

In Texas, anoter city in the state has turned to reusing treated wastewater to bolster drinking supplies.

"We can't conserve our way out of this," Wichita Falls City Manager Darron Leiker told the Associated Press.

Currently the city’s reservoirs are on a trajectory to run dry by August 2016. Click here for more.

In Kansas, the Army Corps of Engineers are now holding more water in several of the state’s reservoirs to combat the drought.

“We’re just going to try and store some of the water in the reservoirs to get us through the drought in case we’re not coming out of it, Sara Goodeyon, with the Army Corps of Engineers, said. “We want to hang on to this water through the drier months instead of letting it go.”

See, “5 Kansas reservoirs to store more water to combat drought.”

The Climate Prediction Center expects July to wet for Kansas and the northern tier of Oklahoma, whether drought improvement or removal is likely by the end of the month. The area of drought improvement is expected to expand by the beginning of October, with areas of Colorado, New Mexico, and West Texas improving.  

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