Water Grand Challenges: Economic Impact of Drought in Texas
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1971 accounted for over 100,000 cattle deaths and drought conditions in 2006 caused an estimated $4.1 billion in associated costs.1 Neither of these events compares to the drought of 2011, which was the hottest and driest year ever recorded in Texas.2 At the worst point of the 2011 drought, every county reported rain levels far below expected amounts and 87% of counties reported exceptional drought, the highest category. The drought intensity has continued into 2013 as is shown in figure 1. Quantifying the costs associated with drought is challenging because it affects so many facets of the Texas economy.