DALLAS — A lengthy drought is putting a stranglehold on Texas water utilities that can only be alleviated by significant rainfall this winter, Fitch Ratings said in a new report assessing the economic impact of months of no or below-average rainfall in the Lone Star State.

Utility ratings won’t be immediately affected, said lead author Doug Scott of Fitch’s Austin office, because long-term state and local water planning ensured enough supply going into the drought to meet growing demand without severe mandatory restrictions.

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