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Here’s the bad news via The Houston Chronicle:

…the Houston region’s drought continues to worsen.

After another generally dry week, the Houston area has now received just 1.57 inches of rain since Feb. 1, said Charles Roeseler, with the National Weather Service. This has made for the driest such period on record since 1916.

Accordingly, the latest report from the U.S. Drought Monitor, released Thursday, shows nearly all of Harris County in at least a severe drought. And 98 percent of Texas remains in at least a moderate drought.

For the upper Texas coast, the drought began around the beginning of October, scientists say.

In the last 6½ months, Southeast Texas has experienced the driest weather on record since 1956, which is not a flattering comparison, said Victor Murphy, the climate service program manager with the weather service in Fort Worth.

“Any kind of comparison to the mid-1950s is not good,” he said.

That’s because, during the decade of the 1950s, the upper Texas coast had two of the three driest individual years on record as well as the driest five-year period on record.

And here’s the worse news. That article was published on April 15, 2011. I think it has rained once since then, but only briefly and certainly not enough to put a dent in the worst drought I can remember.

When I moved here with my family as a child, I envisioned dry, dirt roads traveled by horses and the occasional tumbleweed. But Houston’s climate is typically nothing like that. It’s ridiculously hot, but it also rains here often. Long, soaking rains courtesy of some wicked thunderstorms and tropical storms and hurricanes formed in the Gulf of Mexico. Usually by this time of year I would be complaining about the mosquito and fire ant population. But those horrid creatures need rainwater to breed and thrive. If there’s a silver lining to any of this, it would be the lack of those pests. I can’t say I miss them, but we desperately need some rain.

The grass is always greener under the septic sprinklers.

I don’t have any deep, philosophical thoughts about any of this, except maybe this: So much we take for granted. So many things we even consider a nuisance, but it’s not until we are forced to do without that we begin to understand how vital they are. “Even sunshine burns if we get too much.” – Veronica Shoffstall, and I’d love to see a rainbow again to go with all this sunshine.

This has been such a crazy year for weather. What kind of weather have you been dealing with in your neck of the woods?

Water, water everywhere

image courtesy of

Thursday was the last day of school. Before I sat down to write this post, I dropped my daughter off at an end of school pool party. My son will be attending one on Saturday.

In what has been the driest spring (and now moving into summer) that I can remember, I am still surrounded by water. Clean, accessible water for drinking, bathing and for all the other things we do that require water I rarely think about. The only time I think about it is when we suffer the occasional power outage and we are temporarily unable to access it. (We’re on a well and septic system, so when the power goes out, so does the water pump.)

Much of the world is not so fortunate.

Forty-two thousand people die every week for reasons clean water could help cure. Ninety percent are children.

Thirty-seven thousand, eight hundred children die every week because they don’t have access to clean water.

When fellow blogger Matt Windley of Becoming Last contacted me last month and asked if I would join him in an ambitious fundraising adventure for Charity Water, I didn’t have to think long about it before I agreed. I’ve been involved in a campaign with this organization before (30 Days/30 Bloggers), so I happen to know they are a good group of folks.

The beauty of Charity Water is that they give 100% of the donations to their projects. Matt’s goal is to raise $1,000,000 in the month of June. I know. That sounds crazy, it is, but it’s the number he keeps coming back to. There are approximately 310 million people in the US alone. Even if just .003 of that group gave $1 each, we’d reach $1 million. I believe using our social networks in and outside of the internet, we can make a huge difference in the lives of many suffering children.

Will you help? If you answered yes to that question, or even if you only answered maybe, please visit Becoming Last for further details, or to donate directly to the campaign, visit the Charity Water 30 Day – $1 Million Dollar Challenge page.