Proctor Lake Affected by Texas Drought

Dry conditions since mid-2010 have caused a large portion of the State of Texas to be in an 'exceptional' state of drought, the worst condition on the Federal government's drought monitor scale. The 12-month period between October 2010 and September 2011 was the driest in Texas since 1895, when the state began keeping rainfall records. Not only have crops and farmland been affected, the levels of many lakes in the state have decreased. 

These Landsat images illustrate the area near Proctor Lake in central Texas, southwest of Dallas, in October 2010 and the same month in 2011. The Proctor Lake reservoir was created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1963 as a flood control measure and provides drinking water and recreation facilities to neighboring communities. 

The recent drought has diminished the size of the lake and has affected regional crops. Green vegetation in 2010 has been replaced by lighter toned barren ground in 2011 in many places. The receding shorelines of the lake illustrate reduced water levels from the two major feeder streams, the Sabana and Leon Rivers. 

State officials use the Landsat data to monitor changes in the size of the lake and the effects of the drought on regional crop yields.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011