Saying pictures are worth a thousand words, Texas agriculture, water, and parks and wildlife officials are asking the public, especially farmers and ranchers, to send them photographs of current drought conditions to be used to chronicle the damages of the ongoing drought.

"There is a large segment of our population, like those living in urban areas, that really don't know we are living in a time of severe drought. By collecting photographs that demonstrate the terrible effects of drought it provides the opportunity to promote awareness of just how serious the problem can be," said Tom Harvey, Branch Chief and information officer for Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) in Austin.

TPWD, the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) and the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) have joined forces in an effort to collect photos of drought conditions to serve both as a tool to help make Texans aware of the drought, to promote water conservation, and as way to chronicle the on-going drought for the benefit of future generations.

"We hear a great deal about the Dust Bowl days of the 1900s, but as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so if we can collect and post photographs submitted by everyday Texans that illustrate the seriousness and terrible damages of this drought, the hope is we can raise awareness and hopefully help people understand the importance of taking action to conserve our natural resources," Harvey added.

He said photos from farmers and ranchers might include failed crops, damaged fields, dry ponds and streams, and livestock. Photos from the general public could include low lake levels, dry swimming holes, and suffering yards, plants and gardens.

"The idea is to submit photos that show how the drought has affected you. Many of our lakes, especially west of Interstate 35, are at historic lows, river flows are extremely low as well, and yards are withering and dying as more serious water restrictions are enacted. Photos that reveal the terrible impact of drought is what we are hoping to collect," Harvey said.

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From now until September 30 (2013) Texans can share their original photographs on Flickr, Instagram and other social media platforms. Photos should illustrate how the drought is affecting daily life—whether it is dry creek beds, withered crops, native plants flourishing in the dry climate or the innovative water conservation measures Texans are using to combat drought.