Men's Journal explains.
Who Stole the Water?
How greed, drought, and rampant overdevelopment are sucking Texas dry.
And so on, from Oregon to grain-belt states like Kansas and Oklahoma: They've faced droughts before, but this one is different, particularly in a place like Texas. Over the course of the last decade, the arid state has run desperately short of rainfall. Reservoirs everywhere have thinned or tapped out – Lake Meredith has nearly gone dry, parching Amarillo and Lubbock; Lavon Lake dwindled to half its size, threatening supplies for Dallas and Fort Worth; and the majestic Rio Grande ran so thin that the city of El Paso put in doomsday restrictions, closing laundries and car washes and ordering its residents not to bathe or wash their clothes. It could always be worse, though: They could live in Wichita Falls, a city of 100,000, northwest of Fort Worth, that's less than two years from running dry. There, they'll be drinking their own wastewater, once it's been treated at the plant. They won't be alone: Other cities in Texas are planning so-called "toilet to tap" conversions.