Thursday, March 26, 2009

Recent rain helpful, but not enough to ease hydrologic drought

Current Conditions: Critical Stage
Barton Springs: 23 cfs (estimated 10-day average)
Lovelady Well: 194.7 ft

The thunderstorms that rolled through yesterday added about 1/2 inch to a March total of 2.6 inches--slightly above average for the month. However, it will take a lot more to take us out of drought conditions. Despite the above average rainfall for March, Barton Springs rose only temporarily and the Lovelady well only barely registered the influence of the rain.

It looks like more rain may be on the way today...let's hope so. Every drop helps.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Drought persists, but with a glimmer of hope in the forecast

Current Conditions: Critical Stage Drought
Barton Springs: 23 cfs (estimated 10-day average)
Lovelady Well: 194.8 ft

The current drought still ranks among one of the worst (short-term) droughts on record. However, the seasonal outlook indicates that there could be some minor improvement. This Spring may be wetter than previously thought due to changes in the jet stream related to the El Nino/La Nina phenomena.

However, even if we have a normal (or average) Spring rainfall, that might not be enough to take us out of drought completely. After all, we've got a rainfall deficit of 20+ inches over the past 15 months.

The Drought Monitor shows Central Texas remaining under "exceptional" drought.

The Seasonal Outlook offers a glimmer of hope with "some improvement" noted.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

New podcast on water sustainability

The Bureau of Economic Geology, part of the Jackson School of Geoscience at UT Austin, has created a podcast series called Time on Earth. The second episode is on water sustainability and worth listening to.

Click here for the link to the website.

Drought continues

Although the 2.5+ inches of rain that recently fell were very welcome, it wasn't enough to recharge the aquifer. In fact, very little runoff was generated from the rainfall, an easy indicator whether significant recharge is occurring. The photograph above was taken at a low-water crossing of Bear Creek in the recharge zone several hours after 2.0+ inches of rainfall occurred. Almost no runoff was generated due to the extremely dry soil conditions.

The rains had a temporary effect on Barton Springs as it jumped up in discharge from ~18 cfs up to ~30 cfs, but is quickly declining. The Lovelady Monitor well showed no response to the rainfall and was at 194.9 ft (and declining) today.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Critical Drought continues despite rains

Critical Stage Drought
Barton Springs Discharge (10-day average) = 17.5 cfs
Lovelady depth to water = 194.9 ft

As of today (3/12/9) the rainfall, although much appreciated, has not done much to recharge the aquifer. Barton Springs has temporarily jumped in discharge (up to 29 cfs), but without further rainfall, will quickly fall below 20 cfs again.

Both Barton Springs and the Lovelady well must be above their respective drought trigger levels for the Board to down-grade or remove a drought declaration.

Let's hope for more rain.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Exceptional Drought Continues

Critical Stage Drought
Barton Springs Discharge (10-day average) = 17.5 cfs
Lovelady depth to water = 194.4 ft

Click here for an article by the LCRA's meteorologist Bob Rose.