A wet year or a well-placed hurricane could quickly pull these regions back from the brink. But winter rains have disappointed so far. Monday’s downpours are the first in weeks for parts of the state and they won’t hit the watersheds that need them most.
Looking ahead, forecasters increasingly expect another scorching summer here this year.
That’s bad news for places like far South Texas, where big reservoirs on the Lower Rio Grande fell from 33 percent to 23 percent full over the last 12 months. A repeat of similar conditions would leave the reservoirs far lower than they’ve ever been, triggering an emergency response and an international crisis.