Tropical Depression Bill, formerly Tropical Storm Bill, is making its way north across Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas, bringing more rain to an area that’s already seen more than its fair share in recent weeks.

But there has been an upside to the past month of heavy rains: some parts of Texas have finally emerged from years of devastating drought conditions. Take Wichita Falls, Texas, where a year ago the city’s water supply reservoirs were less than a quarter full, and the city was at Stage 5 drought emergency conditions.

GEAA / http://www.aquiferalliance.net/

LUBBOCK — The torrential storms of last month essentially ended one of Texas’ worst-ever droughts, but much of the excess water has already flowed into the Gulf of Mexico or will evaporate by year’s end.

With a wary eye toward the next prolonged dry-streak that inevitably will come, some think expanding the use of underground aquifers may help slake the thirst of Texas’ rapidly growing population.

Three trillion gallons of water gushed from swollen Texas rivers into the Gulf of Mexico in May, and another 2 trillion gallons will likely evaporate from state reservoirs by year’s end. Combined, the lost water would be enough to serve Texas’ booming population for an entire year.

U.S. Drought Monitor

For those who say the Texas drought is over – they need to take a look at the upper panhandle and the area around San Angelo. Water is still scarce in those areas. Bill Riley is the director of the San Angelo Water System.

Texas Lake Slowly Recovers From Drought

May 27, 2015

It continues to rain today in South Central Texas, which was hit hard by devastating flooding this week. The heavy rains have brought an end to the extreme drought there, which began in 2010.

In September 2013, John Williams, who owns Thunderbird Lodge and Resort on Lake Buchanan in Central Texas, spoke with Here & Now. The lake had shrunk to about one-third capacity.

Source: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/

DALLAS — Steady rainfall through the year has helped Texas emerge from the harshest drought conditions, but pockets of the state still have reservoirs alarmingly low and drinking water in short supply.

The U.S. Drought Monitor indicated Thursday that Texas is no longer contending with “exceptional drought,” which is the most serious of five levels. In October 2011, 88 percent of the state was in exceptional drought.

The drought map this week shows a few regions of “severe” drought remain, such as in the Panhandle, in the area of Wichita Falls and west of Austin in Kerr and Gillespie counties. Much of the spine of Texas extending from the Panhandle south into Central Texas still has either abnormally dry conditions or moderate drought.