SAN ANGELO, Texas – The U.S. Drought Monitor and Texas Water Development Board released the latest drought report for the State of Texas on Tuesday, March 8 2022.

Exceptional drought has returned to the state for the first time since June. Moderate or worse drought jumped to its largest area since 2013.

According to the Texas Water Development Board, over 90% of the state is reporting drought conditions as of Tuesday, March 8th. Prior reports show that drought conditions were at 81% a week ago, 55% three months ago and 62% a year ago.

Courtesy: U.S. Drought Monitor

Below is a list of current drought levels throughout the state, the severity of the drought, the percentage of the state in specific drought levels and comparisons ranging from a week ago to a year ago:

Last Week2022-03-016.6693.3480.7156.7124.470.00255
3 Months Ago2021-12-0718.8081.2055.0120.050.140.00156
Start of Calendar Year2021-12-2813.0286.9867.2736.5810.650.00201
Start of Water Year2021-09-2845.5754.437.
One Year Ago2021-03-0910.8389.1762.4932.3618.276.11208
Courtesy: U.S. Drought Monitor

Below is a list of the historically observed impacts each level of drought provided by the U.S. Drought Monitor (Note: Not all counties respond the same way to elevated drought levels):

CategoryHistorically observed impacts
D0Producers begin supplemental feeding for livestock.
Planting is postponed; forage germination is stunted; hay cutting is reduced.
Grass fires increase.
Surface water levels decline.
D1Dryland crops are stunted.
Early cattle sales begin.
Wildfire frequency increases.
Stock tanks, creeks, streams are low; voluntary water restrictions are requested.
D2Pasture conditions are very poor.
Soil is hard, hindering planting; crop yields decrease.
Wildfire dangers is severe; burn bans are implemented.
Wildlife moves into populate areas.
Hydroelectric power is compromised; well water use increase; mandatory water restrictions are implemented.
D3Soil has large cracks; soil moisture is very low; dust and sand storms occur.
Row and forage crops fail to germinate; decreased yields for irrigated crops and very large yield reduction for dryland crops are reported.
Need for supplemental feed, nutrients, protein, and water for livestock increases; herds are sold.
Increased risk of large wildfires is noted.
Many sectors experience financial burden.
Severe fish, plant, and wildlife loss reported.
Water sanitation is a concern; reservoir levels drop significantly; surface water is nearly dry; river flow is very low; salinity increases in bays and estuaries.
D4Exceptional and widespread crop loss is reported; rangeland is dead; producers are not planting fields.
Culling continues; producers wean calves early and liquidate herds due to importation of hay and water expenses.
Seafood, forestry, tourism, and agriculture sectors report significant financial loss.
Extreme sensitivity to fire danger; firework restrictions are implemented.
Widespread tree mortality is reported; most wildlife species’ health and population are suffering.
Devastating algae blooms occur; water quality is very poor.
Exceptional water shortages are noted across surface water sources; water table is declining.
Boat ramps are closed; obstacles are exposed in water bodies; water levels are at or near historic lows.
Courtesy: U.S. Drought Monitor

For more on current drought levels, visit the U.S. Drought Monitor and the Texas Water Development Board’s Water Weekly Report.