There are 11 towns in Texas that are on a state list of places in danger of running out of water. One of them, Groesbeck, has only until Dec. 6 to find an new supply, the Houston Chronicle reports.
The Texas drought has been going on for more than a year now, but what's terrifying about this story is that it seemed like Groesbeck had more than enough water at the beginning of the summer. Then it experienced 90 days where temperatures topped 100 degrees. The town's public works director calculated that 731 million gallons of water evaporated over that period, while the town used 54 million.
The town has cut water use down to 600,000 gallons per day. There are 6,000 people in the town, so that's 100 gallons of water per day per person on average, although not all of that is for residential use. That might sound like kind of a lot, but an individual's water use adds up quickly. Every toilet flush uses a couple of gallons. A 10-minute shower can use up to 25 gallons, or more, for instance. The dishwasher uses water. So does the washing machine.
Right now, the town is planning on creating a system to route water around the reservoir, since there's not enough to fill it up. But that's not a long-term solution. One guy in the town really nails the naive attitude most Americans have towards the resources we depend on:
"As long as we had water, no one really worried about it," said Tom Hawkins, publisher of the Groesbeck Journal. "Now that we're at the point where we don't have any, I guess most people are now thinking we should have had a Plan B."