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Media Contact: Lindsey Pope, Texas Department Of Agriculture, (512) 463-5044, Lindsey.Pope@TexasAgriculture.gov ; Lauren Mulverhill , Texas Water Development Board, (512) 463-2322, Lauren.Mulverhill@twdb.texas.gov; Tom Harvey, Texas Parks & Wildlife, (512) 389-4453, tom.harvey@tpwd.texas.gov

Oct. 1, 2013



Coalition Extends Drought Photo Campaign, Asks Texans to Document Conservation, Positive Drought Response

Deadline to Submit Photos Extended to Oct. 31; Best Photos to be Displayed at Texas Capitol

AUSTIN — A the coalition of three state agencies has extended through October their “What does your Texas drought look like?” statewide photo project, which has already has received hundreds of compelling photographs documenting the devastation caused by the ongoing drought. And the coalition is now asking Texans to share photos showing the other side of the drought, by documenting innovative water conservation methods and positive drought responses.

The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA), Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) announced today that Texans have an extra month to submit their photos. The new deadline is Thursday, Oct. 31.

Additionally, TDA, TWDB and TPWD will display some of the most compelling photos in an exhibit at the Texas Capitol from Oct. 28 through Nov. 1. Examples of the outstanding photos provided by Texans from across the state are on TPWD’s news images web page.

“Each Texan has experienced the drought’s ferocity in different ways,” Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples said. “Our agencies are joining forces to collect and share these stories with other Texans, as well as for the historical record for future generations to appreciate the importance of drought preparedness and proactive, voluntary water conservation. We know citizen-led conservation efforts are our best alternative to mandated restrictions that can hurt our economy.”

Texas’ many diverse regions are each experiencing the drought in unique ways. This project aims to educate Texans on the critical nature of drought and water conservation. By providing the photographs, the public will help TDA, TWDB and TPWD create a historical archive. The agencies believe it is important for Texans to contribute their personal photos that illustrate the creative uses of native plants, water conservation methods and other positive responses to the drought.

“The photo campaign has revealed the widespread scope of the Texas drought and some of the innovative ways Texans are responding,” said TWDB Board Chairman Carlos Rubinstein. “Because TWDB takes the lead in several agricultural, municipal and industrial water conservation programs, we’d like to see even more ways Texans are saving water during the drought. Conservation of the state’s water resources is a vital part of this conversation.”

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, more than 93 percent of Texas is experiencing some form of drought, and more than 64 percent of the state is suffering from severe to exceptional drought.

“Even though there have been welcome rains across parts of Texas in September, and people in cities may see some green on their lawns, it’s important to understand the drought is by no means over,” TPWD Executive Director Carter Smith said. “Lake levels remain low across much of the state, river flows are down, bay salinities are high—the picture remains serious by many measures. This project thus has an important role to remind people about the toll of drought, and it underscores the importance of water planning and conservation. We all have a role to play in conserving water.”

Photographs and video may be submitted to the Flickr group, “What does your Texas drought look like?” at www.flickr.com/groups/texasdrought. This is a public webpage that anyone with an Internet connection can view, even those who are not members of Flickr. Rules and instructions on how to share photos are available on the Flickr page.

Photographs also may be posted to Twitter or Instagram. Please use the hashtag #txdrought when sharing photos. The campaign’s Instagram account is texasdrought. Tag photos with date, location and include a short description. Additionally, anyone can email up to three photos to TexasDrought@yahoo.com, and project organizers will post the pictures to the Flickr page. All user-submitted photographs must be original content.

2013-10-01


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