Thursday, October 11, 2012

Alarm Stage Drought Approaching

Drought Declaration Status: No Drought
Barton Springs discharge: 39 cfs (40.8 cfs 10-day average)
Lovelady Well:  168.8 ft depth to water (484.6 ft elevation)*

Without significant rainfall and recharge Barton Springs discharge could cross its Alarm Stage drought threshold in mid to late October. The Lovelady well will likely cross its threshold about 2-3 weeks later in early November. It only takes one indicator to cross its threshold for the Board to make a drought declaration.

Despite the better-than-average rainfall for parts of central Texas, the rainfall has not come in sufficient intensity or locations to keep us from entering back into drought conditions.  Streams and rivers are not flowing across the recharge zone and streams such as Onion Creek and the Blanco River are flowing below normal. Surface waters reservoirs such as Lake Travis reflect this fact and are currently at about 42% capacity.

The one glimmer of hope for relief from dry conditions the U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook indicating this part of central Texas as improving into December. This is likely based upon El Nino conditions projected to strengthen in the next few months.

*The Board is on the verge of approving rules that would convert the drought thresholds for the Lovelady well from depth to water (in feet) to an elevation (feet above mean sea level). This is merely a conversion and does not influence the time or frequency of drought declarations from the established methodology.The image below is a summary of those conversions.

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