AUSTIN — Several state agencies are working together on a photo project that encourages Texas residents to document how they have been affected by the ongoing drought.
The coalition of state agencies — the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA), Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD)— are overseeing the statewide project, “What does your Texas drought look like?."
Texans are invited to share their original photographs of the drought on Flickr, Instagram and other social media platforms. Photos should illustrate how the drought is affecting daily life—whether it is dry creek beds, withered crops, native plants flourishing in the dry climate or the innovative water conservation measures Texans are using to combat drought.
“Each Texan has experienced the drought’s ferocity in different ways,” Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples said in a press release. “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.”
The coalition established Thursday, Oct. 31, as a new deadline to submit photos. The project began Aug. 1 and was originally set to end on Sept. 30, but this week an extended deadline was announced.
According to the agencies, the project has already received hundreds of compelling photographs documenting the devastation caused by the drought.
But the coalition wants to remind Texans that it is also asking for photos showing the other side of the drought by photographing innovative water conservation methods and positive responses to the drought.
Some of the most compelling photographs will be displayed in an exhibit at the Texas Capitol from Oct. 28 through Nov. 1.
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.
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.
Photographs and video may be submitted to our Flickr group, “What does your Texas drought look like?” atwww.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 at the link above.
Photographs also may be posted to Twitter or Instagram. Please use the hashtag #txdrought when sharing your photos.
The campaign’s Instagram account is texasdrought. Tag photos with date, location and include a short description.
Additionally, you can email up to three photos to TexasDrought@yahoo.com, and we will post the pictures to our Flickr page. All user-submitted photographs must be original content.
Photo by Timothy Benson. Dry cotton field near Ropesville, Texas