It’s a record-breaking summer in Texas.
As North Texas rolls closer to 40 rainless days in a row, local and state officials say there’s only one thing for residents to do: conserve water.
“This is a long spell of dry weather,” Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price said Friday. “We want people to continue to conserve and realize how important it is to the future of the Metroplex.
“It will help us ensure an adequate water supply for businesses and residents.”
Earlier in the year, rampant rains brought much of Texas out of the drought. But it hasn’t rained at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport since July 8, according to the National Weather Service in Fort Worth.
As of Friday, that made it 37 straight rainless days in a region now described by the U.S. Drought Monitor as “abnormally dry.”
“As Texans, each of us must continue to do our part to conserve water,” Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar said. “If not, we may face severe water restrictions in the future and see businesses dry up.”
The good news is that it’s not as bad as it was in 2000 — yet.
That year, DFW went 55 consecutive days without rain: July 30 to Sept. 22.
There’s a slim chance of relief soon, said Amanda Schroeder, a meteorologist with the weather service.
“Right now we have a 10 percent chance Thursday, Friday and Saturday of next week,” she said.
As for this weekend, forecasts call for more of the same: highs of 98 with lows in the mid-70s.
Now officials are encouraging residents to follow conservation tips, including those from the Texas Water Smart coalition:
▪ Water yards just twice a week and early or late in the day.
▪ Use brooms, not hoses, to clean driveways and sidewalks.
▪ Make sure sprinklers are watering only the lawn, not the sidewalk or street.
▪ Check outdoor faucets, sprinklers and hoses for leaks.
▪ Use rain barrels to save rainwater, then water your garden with it.
▪ Use mulch in planting beds and soaker hoses for trees and shrubs.
▪ Water outdoor plants thoroughly but less often.
“I think people thought we had the wettest spring we’ve had this year,” Price said. “But as you get into the summer, and this long spell with no rain, we have to raise people’s attention to the need for conservation.”
Anna M. Tinsley, 817-390-7610
Longest rainless streaks in DFW
1. 55 days, July 30-Sept. 22, 2000
2. 45 days, June 8-July 22, 1978
3. 40 days, Nov. 1-Dec. 10, 1903
4. (tie) 39 days, June 26-Aug. 3, 1993, and Oct. 9-Nov. 16, 1917
6. 37 days, July 9-Aug. 14, 2015
7. 33 days, July 11-Aug. 12, 1999
8. 32 days, Feb. 12-March 14, 1972
9. 31 days, July 6-Aug. 5, 2006
10. (tie) 30 days, July 6-Aug. 4, 1998, and Sept. 22-Oct. 21, 1975
Source: National Weather Service