Thursday, April 9, 2009

Drought conditions remain

Current Conditions: Critical Stage
Barton Springs: 21 cfs (10-day average)
Lovelady Well: 195.01 ft

Above-average rainfall in March was very welcome after the mny months of below-average rainfall we've experienced. However, central Texas is still within the grips of an exceptional meteorological and hydrological drought.

A recent Austin American Statesman article by Suzannah Gonzales discusses the drought impact in central Texas:

Travis County commissioners on Tuesday (4/7) unanimously declared the county a disaster area due to the ongoing drought. The commissioners signed a letter to Gov. Rick Perry in support of his request for federal assistance. Williamson, Bastrop, Caldwell, Fayette and Comal counties have signed similar letters, according to Travis County emergency management coordinator Pete Baldwin.

While Travis County has fewer agricultural interests than most of its Central Texas neighbors, the dearth of rain over the last two years has taken a toll.
Commissioners also decided to keep the county’s burn ban in place, despite the rains Austin has received over the past two week, and they gave the go-ahead to Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County to coordinate a study of drought effects on Travis County farmers and ranchers.

In Bastrop County, 1,000 cattle have died, said Brad Pierce, Texas AgriLife’s agriculture program leader for Travis County. He said the number of lost cattle is unknown for Travis County because there are no auction services here. In 60 days, they’ll have a better idea production-wise how the county’s doing, Pierce said.