WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - Rain is always a welcome sight to Texomans.
Dr. Jonathan Price is the head of Midwestern State’s Geosciences department and he knows a thing or two about signs of drought.
“We can zoom in on the state of Texas and see that there are some concerned areas from the panhandle as we're coming into the Wichita Falls area,” he said, “First warning of drought is probably the meteorological one – are we getting sufficient rainfall. Second warning of drought is, how are the river systems, stream systems responding?”
It has been one year since the department became an office for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
Dr. Price also knows why it is important to keep track of water streams, “I moved here in 2010 and things were just starting to ramp up there, but it was the most serious started in 2012 going through 2015. Being aware of forthcoming water shortages are critical."
Which is especially true for farmers A&M Agrilife Extension Agent David Graf said, “We were in pretty good shape in the spring and then we hit July in the summer and it just stopped.”
He also said the ground doesn't hold water the same everywhere, “As you go into western Wichita right across the river, I’ve talked to some farmers there and they're getting at the point where when you run out of water in those dirt tanks you have to do something. You have to move those cattle.”
So what can farmers do if they find themselves heading towards another severe drought?
“The only thing they can do, and they do this every year, is they put up plenty of hay,” Graf said.