Monday, August 26, 2013

In the Thick of Stage III Drought

Stage III Critical Drought
Barton Springs: 15.9 cfs (estimated 10-day average)
Lovelady Monitor Well: 458.8 ft-msl

Despite a wetter than average July, dry conditions persist throughout central Texas putting the total rainfall deficit since the declaration of drought in November 2012 at about 10 inches below average according to the District rain gauge. The US Drought Monitor rates central Texas as experiencing a "severe to extreme drought" as of August 20, 2013. Consequently, aquifer levels continue in steady decline. If recharge conditions remain the same, crossing into Stage IV Exceptional drought may occur towards the end of this year.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Exceptional Drought Stage IV predictions

Preliminary projections based on the rate water levels dropped during the 2009 drought indicate that if dry conditions persist, the Stage IV Exceptional drought threshold may be reached by December of this year. See below.

Aquifer Update

Critical Stage III Drought
Barton Springs: 16 cfs 10-day average
Lovelady: 459.1 ft-msl

During these low-flow conditions the discharge values at Barton Springs becomes erratic, making absolute determinations of discharge difficult. Using historic drought data the District has created a correlation between the water levels in the Lovelady well and Barton Springs. Based on this correlation the 10-day average is about 16 cfs, despite the USGS reporting about 18 cfs presently.

Note that the Lovelady data will soon be available online in real-time. The District has contracted the USGS to host the Lovelady site in its system.