A lack of rain, combined with high temperatures is usually the cause of drought. The Texas drought was no different after five months without significant rain and a dry winter.
Drought cannot be prevented, but its effects can be reduced. Users can be encouraged to conserve water by reducing demand so that existing supplies last longer.
Water restrictions , such as banning washing of cars, filling private swimming pools and watering gardens.
In Dallas charities issued free fans to cope with the heat, while some workers switched to night shifts and children were kept indoors.
Factors affecting drought
- Temperature: affects evaporation and demand
- Previous rainfall: affects the amount of water in ground and surface stones
- Wealth: May determine how well people cope with drought
- Population: affects the amount of water needed
In 1998 there was a five-month drought in Texas. This reached a climax in late July/early August.For 29 consecutive days temperatures were well above 100 °F (38°C) making the problem worse.
The elderly and the sick were most at risk - 150 died.
40 illegal immigrants from Mexico also died.
Hospitals were under great ressure and sporting activities restricted.
Fires broke out and sales of bottled water rapidly increased.