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Drought in Texas

Weather patterns and demand on water supplies vary dramatically across the state. When dry conditions are prolonged, it can put a strain on all uses. Here is information to help you make better decisions about water use, including surface and groundwater regulations, and emergency procedures.

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Drought and Public Water Systems

Water systems that are limiting amounts of water used, drought contingency plans and reporting, and educational materials and emergency management for public water systems.

Water Rights During Drought

How water rights are managed, priority dates, senior water rights, groundwater production and use, river authorities and watermasters, and how to make a priority call or water right complaint.

Priority Calls: Claiming Water Rights

The TCEQ administers surface water rights by priority doctrine (first in time, first in right). A senior water right holder (one who has held that right the longest) can make a priority call for water over one with a junior right (one held for a shorter time.) How to make a priority call, and find active and historic calls.

Water Conservation

Water is essential for health, work, and the environment. Learn how you can conserve and what's happening around Texas.

Current Conditions

Map of Drought Impact on Texas Surface Water
Posted August 10, 2017 Updated Information

Map of Texas Vegetation Conditions Exit the TCEQ (National Drought Mitigation Center)

Map of Drought Conditions Exit the TCEQ (U.S. Drought Monitor)

How the TCEQ Responds During Drought

  • Staffs drought information hot line during business hours to answer questions from the public: 800-447-2827
  • Consults public water systems regarding implementation of drought implementation plans and specific needs as they arise
  • Tracks public drinking water systems under water use restrictions—both voluntary and mandatory
  • Tracks and manages water-right draws of surface water
  • Conducts training in TCEQ regional offices to equip inspectors in non-watermaster areas to measure and monitor surface water flows and to ensure the senior water-right priority calls are honored and respected by protecting the flow of water
  • Enhances this web page to cover a wide range of drought-related topics
  • Conducts weekly meetings across programs to provide updates, monitor status and forecasts, and address concerns
  • Sends targeted news releases in areas where water rights have been curtailed to provide information and encourage conservation
  • Actively participates with other state agencies on Joint Information Council and Drought Preparedness Taskforce

Other Resources