"The drought that crippled many communities across the nation last year shows little sign of retreating, and the threat of persistent water scarcity is spurring efforts to preserve every drop."
"As the drought of 2012 creeps into 2013, experts say the slow-spreading catastrophe presents near-term problems for a key U.S. agricultural region and potential long-term challenges for millions of Americans.
"Everyone is wondering whether this dry weather is the new norm ... or an anomaly that will soon pass," said Barney Austin, director of hydraulic services for INTERA Inc, an Austin, Texas-based geoscience and engineering consulting firm. "We all hope for the latter, but it's hard to tell."
The signs of distress and the search for answers are most prevalent in the Plains, where historic drought blankets much of Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and parts of Texas."