The National Weather Service reported only .1 inches of rain fell at Midland International Airport between September 2010 to August 2011. Such conditions prompted the Colorado River Municipal Water District, Odessa’s water supplier, to limit water deliveries by 10 percent on two occasions. In reaction to CRMWD’s limitations, Odessa enacted water restrictions requiring that businesses and residents use outdoor water once a week for only two hours.
Dry West Texas conditions also made the landscape vulnerable to wildfires. The Texas Forest Service reported that wildfires consumed more than 3.9 million acres — 47.6 percent of acreage burned in the U.S. — throughout the state between Nov. 15, 2010 and Nov. 15, 2011. The Rock House Fire burned in Fort Davis from April 9, 2011 to May 12, 2011 and was the largest fire in Texas history, having burned nearly 315,000 acres.