Lack of Rain having Various Impacts Across the Valley

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MCALLEN – The dog days of summer is beginning to have an impact on the Rio Grande Valley.

Right now, most of the Valley shows signs of being abnormally dry while the south part of Hidalgo County is in a moderate drought.

Rain water is useful in many ways here in the region, especially those who work with plants.

"Summer is just really difficult for nurseries," said Bianca Banda, who works at Waugh's Nursery Center in Pharr.

Banda said the lack of rain affects plants in a way most people don't realize, "Here in the Valley, our soil it's self is more salty then acidic. Plants as a general rule prefer slightly acidic."

She adds that rain water is more pure then ground water and can help prevent salt from building up in the soil.

The salt prevents the plant from getting the nutrients it needs and this results the burning you see on leaves.

This can hurt business said Banda, "The plants will be fine they just don't aesthetically look nice and nobody wants to take home a plant that doesn't look nice."

It's not just nurseries affected by the lack of rain, local parks are also taking a hit this summer.

"Just from evaporation you’re probably losing between one to three inches (of water)," said Robert Canterbury with the City of McAllen. This is how much water their town lake loses daily.

The city tries to refill the lake weekly though this isn't always the case, "When the irrigation district is limited on their supply the farmers they get their water first and we have to wait until their needs are met before we can get the water for the park," said Canterbury

Canterbury also stated it roughly costs the city $60 to refill Town Lake a month. Last year they spent a little over $600.

Both Banda and Canterbury said they always keep a look out for rain during the hot summer months.


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