Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Barton Springs Segment Remains in Alarm Stage Drought

Contrary to the improved conditions experienced recently in the San Antonio segment of the aquifer to the south of us, the Barton Springs segment's drought indicators remain firmly within their respective ranges of our current Alarm Stage Drought. The recent rains offered some relief to our hot temperatures and greened up some of our yards a little bit; however, it doesn't appear to have resulted in any notable recharge to the aquifer.

Current levels for our drought triggers are at a 10-day average flow rate of 25 cfs at Barton Springs and 183.6 feet depth to water at the Lovelady Monitor Well. Both of these are the lowest levels experienced so far in this drought; that is, there has been no improvement in the aquifer condition. The triggers for Alarm Stage Drought for Barton Springs and the Lovelady Monitor Well are 38 cfs of spring flow and 181 feet depth to water, respectively.

The Edwards Aquifer Authority (EAA), which manages both the San Antonio and the Uvalde pools of the aquifer, has recently reported improved aquifer conditions there that were sufficient to lift the drought restrictions. As most of you know, the EAA's pools are hydrologically separate from our Barton Springs segment, so unfortunately, their improved conditions don't really affect ours. As permittees, many of you may be getting questions about what the EAA's public announcement means to you and your customers, so it's important to understand the difference.