Thursday, October 25, 2012

Aquifer Update

Drought Status: Non-Drought Conditions
Barton Springs: ~40 cfs (41.7 10-day average)
Lovelady: 481.4 ft-msl (172.0 ft depth to water)

Barton Springs discharge that is reported on the USGS website has been corrected to reflect manual verification measurements. The website was reporting values about 4 cfs too low.  District staff also measured springflow and verified the higher values. As such, we've avoided entry into drought for at least a couple of weeks--and hopefully we'll get some rainfall in the meantime.

Unfortunately, the El Nino conditions are very weak, if present at all, so future rainfall projections due to ENSO are not a source of optimism at this time.

Although the District is currently no under drought restrictions or declarations, here's what is happening around us:

Edwards Aquifer Authority:
o   Under Stage 2 restrictions (30% curtailment)  based on 10-day average values for J-17 (current reading:  648msl;  Stage II threshold 650msl, Stage III threshold 640msl). 
o   EAA Critical Stage Info (Triggers, Stages and Reductions)

City of Austin: 
o   Stage II restrictions are in effect (outdoor watering limited to 1 specified day per week, before 10am or after 7pm)
o   Stage II watering restrictions were implemented on Sept. 4, 2012.
o   Follows LCRA drought triggers (see next section).

Lower Colorado River Authority:
o   Water storage is at less than 900,000 acre feet and lakes are currently (10/22/2012) at 44% full (879,288 acre feet).  Check real time Lake Volumes.
o   When lakes reach 900,000 million acre feet, firm water customers required to reduce water use by 10-20%, and they start a curtailment of interruptible supply and environmental flows for critical needs continues.
o   2010 Water Management Plan Drought Triggers

Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority:
o   Currently in Stage 1 Mild Water Shortage Conditions.
o   Comal Springs at 211 cfs and Canyon Reservoir at 901.52 msl (10/22/2012).
o   Stage 1 Mild Water Shortage Conditions triggered when the water level drops below 895 feet in Canyon Reservoir (or less than 274,800 ac/ft of storage) and/or Comal Springs is at or below 250 cfs but greater than 200 cfs.  See 2011 Drought Contingency Plan for more info. 

Hays-Trinity Groundwater Conservation District:
o   The Board of Directors declared Alarm Stage Drought (20% reduction) on 9/1/2012.
o   Discharge readings for the Pedernales (27 cfs) have been below Alarm thresholds (31.6 cfs) for 3 days. (10/22/2012). 
o   Alarm Stage Drought triggers for are 30-day averages of 31.6 cfs for the Pedernales and/or 28.5 for the Blanco.

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