FAQ About Droughts
Hi Catherine! In the states you listed, you left out California. I live in an area called the "high desert". We are in a drought now. I was amused by the bit about a "rain barrel". We have had 5.80 inches, and that is more like Los Angeles, not here. I am from Pennsylvania, so I know what rain barrels are, but they are non existent here. That 5.80 inches is from about last November, by the way. However, we did have 18 or 20 Drops not long ago. I am a very long time reader and follower of the OFA so keep up the fine work!
What also happens in a drought is that the topsoil crusts over and cracks ( like in the photo above ). What also occurs when the soil crusts over is the soils ability to absorb rain water, the hard soil acts like concrete and water will not replenish the in-ground aquifers. In California the Central & San Joaquin valleys are prime examples of this; once farmers had pumped water from the ground, then we built irrigation canals no the government is cutting back on the irrigation water. And with chemical fertilizers/herbicides/pesticides the topsoils are also dead becoming dust bowls, which also impacts the absorption of rain water.
Which leads to water runoff and depletion of the in-ground aquifers, which in turn.... you get the picture.
What is the lowest lake levels recorded in history for Lake Wichita in Wichita Falls Texas? And what year was that low recorded? And what was the lowest lake level recorded for that lake previously?
Your best reference (as we don't have this information) may be the folks in the office of the state climatologist at Texas A&M University here: http://climatexas.tamu.edu/index.php/contact-us