Friday, April 29, 2011

Alarm Stage II Drought Declared

At its April 28 Board meeting, the Board of Directors of the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District declared Stage II Alarm Drought for the District, effective immediately. The drought declaration affects authorized water use by some 60,000 groundwater users primarily in northern Hays, southern Travis, and western Caldwell counties.

The Lovelady Drought Indicator Well, in the Edwards Aquifer and located in South Austin, dipped below its Alarm threshold of 175.0 feet depth-to-water on April 24. The 10-day average discharge at Barton Springs, the District’s other official drought indicator, also dipped below its Alarm threshold of a 10-day average of 38 cubic feet per second, based on BSEACD manual measurements, on about April 22. For the Board to officially declare drought, only one drought indicator has to cross below its trigger threshold. In this instance, water levels in the Lovelady Monitor Well and springflow at Barton Springs prompted the drought declaration.

With more than seven months of rainfall and runoff deficit, this drought declaration comes near the beginning of the heavy outdoor water-use season and also at a time when abnormally hot and dry conditions are forecast to continue. Without reductions in demand, deeper drought stages, with even greater required curtailments of pumping and water use, will be reached sooner. Since groundwater is a shared resource, water conservation has to be a coordinated effort.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Stage II Alarm Drought Declaration pending Board Meeting Tonight

Barton Springs Flow: 36.9 cfs 10-day average (38 cfs is Alarm threshold)
Lovelady: 176.5 ft depth to water (175.0 ft is the Alarm threshold)

With one of the driest 6-7 month periods on record, both drought triggers are below their respective Alarm Stage II thresholds. The District Board will meet tonight (Thursday 4/28) and will review the drought information and likely make the drought declaration official.

Alarm Stage II drought requires a 20% reduction from normal monthly use for those that hold permits to pump water from the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer. Restricting outdoor irrigation is one common measure to achieve that reduction goal. Domestic well owners are also asked to conserve water by reducing outdoor irrigation among other conservation practices.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Article on low flow in Colorado River

Click here to read the following article titled: "Flow into Colorado lower than drought-of-record period, LCRA says" by Asher Price of the Austin American Statesman

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

April Aquifer Update

Drought Status: Non Drought Conditions
Barton Springs Flow: 40 cfs (41.9 cfs 10-day average)
Lovelady Well: 173.2 ft depth to water

Alarm Stage II drought conditions are approaching and we are predicted to cross the trigger for either Barton Springs or the Lovelady Well by late April or possibly early May.

Currently almost 100% of Texas is experiencing drought, with the majority experiencing Extreme Drought conditions.

Friday, April 1, 2011

April 1 Aquifer Update: It's no joke!

Lovelady: 170.667
Barton Springs: 41 cfs (daily value)

Aquifer levels continue to decline and head toward Alarm Drought conditions. Without rainfall we expect to enter into Alarm Stage Drought by mid to late April. The next Board meeting is April 14 and without significant rain, conditions could allow the Board to declare an Alarm Stage drought.