Texas Landscape Project: Map of Annual Precipitation ZonesPrecipitation Ranges

Texas is unusual among American states in having a very wide range of rainfall within its borders, ranging from less than 10 inches per year in El Paso, to almost 60 inches in Beaumont.

While this broad variety helps create the rich biodiversity of Texas, it can create political tensions between the “haves”, those with plentiful streamflows and large lakes, and the “have-nots”, those without.

The wide spectrum in rainfall also raises environmental problems when people try to rearrange the plumbing of the state to mitigate natural shortfalls in rainfall. For instance, exported water may leave basins of origin dry at critical times of the year, or bring exotic species to receiving watersheds, or require great amounts of energy to deliver water to distant and higher sites.


Carmine Stahl recites a poem he wrote about the beauty and power of rain in Texas:


Map source:

Texas Water Development Board. 2014. Texas Precipitation. http://www.twdb.state.tx.us/mapping/gisdata/shapefiles/precipitation/precipitation.zip (Accessed October 30, 2014).