Drought Committee Reviewing Conditions
Missouri's drought is in its 18th month, with 15 counties including Randolph, Macon and Chariton, in Phase 1 or the advisory stage. Boone, Cooper, Audrain and Callaway counties already are in Phase 2, or the drought alert stage.
"We recommend to the general public, if not all the time but especially when we are in a drought, to conserve water," said Mike Wells, chairman of the Drought Assessment Committee.
Gov. Matt Blunt set up the committee last summer after several counties started to conserve water.
"The whole role of this committee is to bring agencies together to look at how the drought is impacting all the different sectors of our society," Wells explained.
"A lot of grass that looks like it's dead, when you walk across it, crinkles," said Tim Kelley of Farm Service Agency, "so a lot of the dry weather and intense heat have taken its toll on our pastures primarily."
The Drought Assessment Committee includes members from 14 agencies or departments, including natural resources, the National Weather Service and the National Agricultural Statistics Service.