The state of Texas experienced its worst drought in half a century in 2011, which left the state struggling for ways to meet the water needs of its citizens. Today, the reservoirs, lakes and rivers that feed Texas's water needs are severely depleted and Texans are getting creative when it comes to finding and saving water.
The Texas town of Robert Lee has depended almost entirely on this reservoir for its water. And the record-setting drought has forced it to drink from its last reserves.
Across Texas, towns like Robert Lee experienced record-breaking temperatures last year. Some saw more than 100 days straight of 100-degree temperatures. And that scorching heat began evaporating reservoirs like Lake E.V. Spence, which provides Robert Lee with its water.
Citizens of Robert Lee and many other Texas towns are now saving water like never before, buying water from neighboring towns and hoping 2012 will bring more rain and less heat than 2011.
"I never take a bath, take a shower, wash a load of clothes that I don't think, save water. You don't leave the water running when you brush your teeth. All those things that maybe people in wetter areas do, we don't." - Melinda McCutchen, editor, Robert Lee Observer
"What climate change is doing is, it's increasing our temperatures. And higher temperatures mean faster evaporation. So you need more water to provide the same amount of irrigation for crops if temperatures are higher. And that's what we see happening here in Texas and in many places around the world." - Katharine Hayhoe, climate scientist, Texas Tech University
1. What is a drought? What causes drought?
2. What do you use water for every day?
3. Has the place where you live ever experienced a drought? How do you know?
1. Why does the woman interviewed in the video say that Texas would be in real trouble if they had more forest fires? What is the relationship between water consumption and forest fires?
2. If you lived in Texas, what would you do to conserve water? What are some ways everyone can conserve water?
3. Is water a renewable resource? Explain.
Lesson Plan: Are The World's Weather and Climate Changing?: