Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Update on Current Dye-Trace Studies in the Upper Onion Creek Watershed, Hays County, Texas

No Drought
Lovelady well height: 497.8 ft-msl (155.6 ft-Depth to Water)
Barton Springs: approximately 54 cfs 10-day average

Read Here:

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

2017 Aquifer Status in Review

No Drought
Lovelady well height: 501.8 ft-msl (151.5 ft-Depth to Water)
Barton Springs: approximately 61 cfs 10-day average

2017 began in a status of No Drought following a trend which began back in 2014. In September ‘14, water levels began to rise after above-average rainfall. Steady recharge throughout 2015 and ‘16 continued to increase aquifer water levels as well as Barton Springs flow. In January 2015, the Board updated the drought status from Stage II Alarm Drought to No Drought. While measurements began to decline in October 2016, and have steadily continued down, they remain above drought warning levels. As of December 2017, we maintain a status of No Drought.

Austin has received 39" of rain which is just above our average rainfall (32" - 36") in 2017, which has produced little recharge and resulted in aquifer water level decline. While levels are going down, the benefits of previous wet years have provided a bolster against this drop at the Lovelady Monitor Well, which has recorded data since 1949.

The rejuvenating effects of above-average rainfall in 2015 and ‘16 (59” & 55” respectively) well-prepared the region for a somewhat dryer 2017. La Niña conditions (see previous blog entry) in the Pacific are likely to result in continued dry weather through the winter and beginning of 2018.

Happy New Year from BSEACD!!!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

La Nina Climate Impacts and Outlook for Texas in 2018

In addition to November’s blog post on  weak La Nina conditions developing in the tropical Pacific, below are some climate forecasts from the Climate Assessment for the Southwest (CLIMAS) team on La Nina’s potential impacts on Central and South Texas. As of early-November, the tropical Pacific and atmosphere were exhibiting weak La Nina conditions. Forecasts favor above-average temperatures and below-average precipitation through approximately February-April 2018.

Abnormally dry conditions developed in areas of Central and western Texas between August and October while moderate drought conditions remained in southern Texas. Drought conditions in these areas are predicted to persist through February, according to the U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook.

The three-month NOAA temperature outlook (December-February)
favors chances for above-average temperatures for all of Texas through February.

The NOAA three-month precipitation outlook predicts chances for below-average
precipitation for all Texas, except for the northernmost point of the
state (December-February). La Niña conditions tend to lead to below-average
precipitation in the Southwest U.S. and northern Mexico.

According to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), fire risk is normal for
New Mexico and Texas through December (Figure 9).
However, La Niña conditions, projected to continue through the winter, are
predicted to bring dry and warm conditions to the Southern Plains, including
Central Texas, by January, making grasses and brush
more receptive to fire.

For More visit here

Monday, December 11, 2017

Texas Cities Using 21% Less Water (than we were in 2000!)

No Drought
Lovelady well height: 507.1 ft-msl (146.3 ft-Depth to Water)
Barton Springs: approxamately 62 cfs 10-day average

Texas Living Waters Project reports that Texans are using 21% less water in our homes than we were back in 2000! Read on.... http://texaslivingwaters.org/texas-good-story-water-conser…/

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Move over El Nino, La Nina may be on the way

No Drought
Lovelady well height: 516.3 ft-msl (137.2 ft-Depth to Water)
Barton Springs: approxamately 75 cfs 10-day average

Forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) indicate that a La Nina may make an appearance (55-65% chance) this fall and winter.

La Nina is the opposite of El Nino, a cooling of the equatorial east-central Pacific Ocean. If La Nina does develop, the strength of it (weak, moderate or strong) will determine what impacts it may have on the weather this fall and winter. Typically, the southern tier of the U.S. sees drier than average conditions and temperatures that are above average, while much of the Pacific Northwest and Ohio Valley are wetter than normal and see below average temperatures.(Weather Channel).

What does this mean for Central Texas?
As the La Nina effects suggest, "the latest outlooks for this fall and winter call for rainfall to average near to slightly below normal across our area. Along with that, temperatures should be a little bit milder than normal from October all the way through the end of winter." -Bob Rose, LCRA Chief Meteorologist

Monday, October 9, 2017

High and Dry: New Book Examines World's Biggest Groundwater Challenges

Through captivating stories and thoughtful prose, William and Rosemarie Alley take readers on a journey to better understand groundwater in their new book, “High and Dry: Meeting the World’s Growing Dependence on Groundwater.”

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Hurricane Harvey and Central Texas

Hurricane Harvey and Central Texas

Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the Texas Gulf Coast late Friday, bringing with it one of the most disastrous floods in the state’s history. From Corpus Christi and Rockport to Houston and La Grange, wind and rainfall from the storm caused damage and displacement on a catastrophic scale. Houston alone received over 51” as of August 31st. That’s the greatest amount ever recorded in the Lower 48 states from a single storm.

The effects of Harvey have extended to Central Texas. Specifically, regarding rainfall:
  • Buda saw 11.7” according to LCRA Hydromet
  • Manchaca received 9.6” according to BSEACD gauges
  • Driftwood recorded 7.4” according to LCRA Hydromet
  • Austin (Mabry: 5.9”, ABIA: 6.2”) got roughly 6” (KXAN weather diary)
  • Wimberley took 5.3” according to LCRA Hydromet

While rain was nearly constant in the region beginning Friday evening and continuing into early Monday, the effects on the stage level of local creeks and rivers might seem unexpectedly subtle. Although all saw a rise in stage and flow, none achieved flood status as a result of the downpour.

Top Stage Level Reached 8/27/17
Historic (H)/Flood (F) Stage Level
2015 Memorial Day Flood Stage Level
Blanco River at Wimberley
13 (F)
Onion Creek at Driftwood
5.5 (F)
Onion Creek at Twin Creeks Rd
22 (H)
Williamson Creek at Manchaca Rd
21 (H)
Barton Creek above Barton Springs
18 (H)

Springflow at Barton Springs
saw a slight increase of five cubic feet per second (cfs) while Jacob’s Well Spring measured a 40 cfs increase.

Water levels in the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District
(BSEACD) Lovelady monitor well were declining until the rain event brought stabilization. 

Onion Creek at Driftwood saw a quick climb to around 210 cfs late Sunday (8/27) night, though the peak was short-lived and never reached flood stage status.

The LCRA reports rainfall totals near the Highland Lakes ranged from less than an inch near Lake Buchanan to widespread totals of 2-4 inches near Lake Travis. This was not enough rain to make a significant difference in lake levels.
As Harvey drifted back toward the gulf late Sunday, rainfall decreased and stage levels began to quickly decline. After the deluge, the area received 9 inches in August, 7 inches above the average for the month.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Texas Well Ownder Network (TWON) Workshop!

Lovelady well height: 534.9 ft-msl (118.5 ft- Depth to Water)
Barton Springs: approxamately 95 cfs 10-day average

Texas AgriLife and the Cypress Creek Project are hosting "Well Educated" on Thursday, July 27, 2017, 8:30am – 3:30pm at the Wimberley Community Center. They will go over well maintenance, water quality, treatment, and test a well water sample for FREE! Great training opportunity!


Thursday, May 25, 2017

This Weekend is Tax Free Weekend...Water Efficient Products!

Happy Memorial Day weekend!
You can buy certain water-efficient and water-conserving products tax free during the Water-Efficient Products Sales Tax Holiday—THIS WEEKEND. There is no limit on the number of qualifying items you can buy.

The 2017 holiday begins Saturday, May 27, and goes through Monday, May 29 (Memorial Day).

Examples of tax free purchases:
·         Showerheads, toilets, faucets
·         Soaker hoses, mulch, soil, compost
·         Rain barrels, alternative rain and moisture collection system
·         Plants, trees, grasses

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Beginning of Water Conservation Period

The District’s Water Conservation Period starts Monday, May 1st and extends through the end of September— the time when water use is at its peak.

Since January 2016, groundwater levels in the District have been above drought thresholds.  Recent wet weather has helped augment water supplies, but there is still a need to conserve water resources.  The last drought proved that surface water and groundwater resources are precious and limited.  Water conservation through the summer months can help us delay and/or avoid another drought situation.

Starting on May 1st, Austin Water Utility restricts outdoor watering to no more than twice per week, and the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District initiates a voluntary 10% reduction in groundwater pumping by its permittees.  Though the approaches are different, the goal is the same—prolong water availability throughout the hottest and driest portion of the year.

John Dupnik, Aquifer District General Manager notes, “Through being mindful of smart water use during the hot summer months, a little effort by individual end-users, when multiplied across central Texas, can do a great amount of good.”

“Our groundwater users are traditionally very conscious of water use.  Simple leak fixes and water conservation choices can add up to make a big difference in extending our long-term water supply,” states Robin Gary, Senior Public Information and Education Coordinator.

Water conservation strategies, rainwater harvesting information, water-wise landscaping ideas, and self irrigation audit guidance is available at www.bseacd.org/education/water-conservation/