Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Groundwater Drought Looming Near

No-Drought Conditions
Barton Springs Flow: 49 cfs (10-day average)
Lovelady Well: 481.73 ft-msl

Water level in Lovelady monitor well is just over 3 feet above its Stage II Alarm drought threshold. Unless meaningful recharge to the aquifer occurs, that threshold could be crossed near the end of April. Barton Springs flow is expected to cross its drought threshold some time after Lovelady, possibly mid-May. It only takes one of these sites to cross its respective drought threshold for the District to make a drought declaration. Despite seeing an improvement in precipitation from the months preceding it, rainfall of 1.6 inches in March was short of its 2.2 inch historic average. The District rain gauge received 1/100 of an inch in the last two weeks of March. At the time of this posting, thunderstorms are in the forecast for today and tomorrow. Given the dry conditions, rain that falls now may not be enough to slow the descent into drought, but would prime soil moisture conditions for subsequent rains to generate surface runoff and flow in the creeks, where the majority of recharge to the aquifer occurs.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts that drought will persist or intensify in most of the western half of the state, while some chance of improvement exists for the eastern half. Click here to go to their website.

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