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Video: Don didn't drop enough to end drought
Transcript of: Don didn't drop enough to end drought
LESTER HOLT, anchor: The storm once known as Tropical Storm Don fizzled along the Texas coast , dropping less than an inch of rain there overnight before moving south into Mexico . The storm was seen as the best chance for some heavy rain in South Texas in months as the state suffers from a historic drought. It's so dry in Texas , cattle and crop losses will start affecting food prices across the country. And as NBC 's Charles Hadlock reports, some Texas cities are resorting to desperate measures.
CHARLES HADLOCK reporting: At this sale barn in Waco , the auctioneer can barely keep up with the cattle drive of animals being sold at a loss. Ranchers can no longer feed them. Their pastures have turned to dust, and their ponds, which should be filled with fresh water , are bone dry. Michael Steinhauser runs a farm and ranch business in the worst drought in a generation.
Mr. MICHAEL STEINHAUSER: This'll be one that people talk about for years to come.
HADLOCK: And it's one consumers will be paying for in grocery stores in the months ahead. There's plenty of beef on the market; the cattle being sold today are keeping prices down. But what about six months from now?
Mr. DAVID ANDERSON (Texas A&M University Livestock Economist): Let's say, you know, next year it rained and they wanted to replenish their herd, they want to get some more cows. Where do you find those cows when so many of them have been sold already?
HADLOCK: The same is true for the price of corn, wheat and soybeans, used in so many grocery products, already up 4 percent from last year. Like these sunflowers, they've all wilted in the Texas drought. In West Texas , where people can't remember the last time it rained, they still somehow have a sense of humor about it. But make no mistake, this is a serious drought. Large lakes that supply drinking water to West Texas cities are mere puddles. In this lake, less than 1 percent of the water is left. Pump stations are high and dry. With lakes and water tanks running dangerously low, cities are desperate to find new sources of water . And one may have found it in an unlikely, if not
unpleasant, source: sewage water . The city of Big Spring is so desperate for water , it's building a plant to recycle its sewage.
Mr. JOHN GRANT (Colorado River Municipal Water District): The quality of water that we're going to be producing from the raw water production facility is essentially water that you could deliver to somebody's tap.
HADLOCK: Fresh or not, for now it's the only water in sight as the dry Texas wind brings no rain. Charles Hadlock, NBC News, Big Spring , Texas .