Thursday, April 26, 2012

Aquifer Update

Drought Status: No Drought
Barton Springs: 93.1 cfs (10-day average)
Lovelady: 163.1 ft

Flow in the creeks is gradually subsiding and therefore so is recharge. Onion Creek flow at the upper end of the recharge zone was measured yesterday as ~15 cfs.  All of that flow recharged the aquifer within a mile into the recharge zone. Barton Springs reached a peak flow of about 100 cfs and is starting to decline. Water levels in the Lovelady well are still rising, although look like they may be starting to flatten out.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Recharge in Onion Creek

Pictured here is a grate over Crippled Crawfish Cave in Onion Creek taken on 4/12/12. This cave and other small solution cavities in the creek are recharging all water that is flowing onto the recharge zone of the Edwards Aquifer, which is about 35 cubic feet per second. Note the small whirlpool in the lower right corner of the photo. Streamflow is diminishing quickly and soon recharge will cease altogether. Hopefully more rains will come this spring to continue the streamflow and recharge into features such as these.

This feature, and others, are on lands owned and operated by the City of Austin for the sole purpose of water quality protection and restoration. A dye trace study in 2005 demonstrated flow from this feature to wells and Barton Springs. The dye arrived at Barton Springs is about 3 days at distance of about 18 miles!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

April Aquifer Update

Drought Status: Non-drought
Barton Springs: 97 cfs (97.5 10-day average)
Lovelady: 167.0 feet depth to water

The Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer is out of drought, and there is an overall improvement of drought conditions throughout Texas. However, the Hill Country of Texas is still under moderate drought conditions. Unfortunately, the outlook for rainfall is not necessarily favorable to improve. In addition, temperatures are projected to be above normal. While the summer of 2012 will not be nearly as severe as 2011 (let's hope), it appears likely 2012 will be a relatively dry and abnormally hot summer.

Monday, April 2, 2012

2011 Drought

As part of NPR's state-based public policy reporting network, StateImpact, we created an interactive news application to show how state policy (and in this case, climate forces) have affected people's lives.

Click here for link to the site.