Monday, April 5, 2021

World Geologist Recognition Day!

 Stage II Alarm Drought

Lovelady Well Height: 465 ft-msl

Barton Springs: approximately 33 cfs 10-day average


Geologists Day is celebrated annually on the first Sunday of April throughout the world. It was established by a group of well-known Soviet geologists in April 1966. A geologist is a scientist who studies the Earth’s physical structure and substances, the history of rocks, the processes that act on them, as well as the organisms that inhabit the earth. They work to understand the history of the planet we live on, to better predict the future and explain current occurrences. Geologists are involved in the discovery of resources that are used in all aspects of our daily lives.

There are many types of geologists, including hydrogeologists. Hydrogeology deals with how water gets into the ground (recharge), how it flows in the subsurface (through aquifers) and how groundwater interacts with the surrounding soil and rock (the geology). The District wants to recognize Brian Smith, Principal Hydrogeologist, Justin Camp, Hydrogeologist Technician, and Jeff Watson, Staff Hydrogeologist for their contributions and hard work in the world of hydrogeology.

 Happy Geologists Day!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqeQGGPkNMw


Friday, February 12, 2021

Jacobs Well Monitoring

 

 As La Nina conditions persist - bringing warmer and drier climate to Central Texas - so do drought conditions in the Edwards and Trinity aquifers. This includes the Trinity fed Jacobs Well Spring (JWS) in Wimberley. Flow reported at the JWS gauge nears 0.0 cubic feet per second (cfs). JWS serves as a drought stage indicator for the Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District (HTGCD) within the Jacobs Well Groundwater Management Zone.

For HTGCD to protect groundwater supplies and JWS flow they have been busy coordinating with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Edwards Aquifer Authority (EAA) to ensure that the data reporting at the JWS gauge are as accurate as possible. For more info on Jacobs Well monitoring visit here.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

2020 Aquifer Status In Review

Stage II Alram Drought

Lovelady Well Height: 469 ft-msl

Barton Springs: approximately 30 cfs 10-day average


Year 2020 began with a status of No Drought due to a very wet 2018, but below-average rainfall in 2019 caused water levels and spring flow to enter a downward trend beginning in late July. The declining trend continued with below-average rainfall up to 2020. The new year started out very wet with a combined 11 inches of rain from January to April (3 inches above historical average) reversing the downward trend and avoiding crossing drought thresholds in mid-March. A total of 35 inches of rain as of mid-December 2020 has provided much needed recharge to the Edwards and Trinity Aquifers, but not enough to reverse the downward trend. On October 8, 2020, the Board declared Stage II Alarm Drought.

 To look back in more detail, a combined 14 inches of spring rain fell in May and June 2020 providing even more recharge to that provided in January through April. Barton Springs flow quickly responded to these rains, propelling spring flow further away from drought triggers. The below-average rainfall in the fall of 2019 and additional spring 2020 rains maintained an average daily spring flow of 58 cfs throughout 2020.

The wet spring only temporarily held off drought as summer came with a drying trend that brought water levels and spring flow back into decline beginning in early July. September provided 7 more inches of rain but did little to reverse the downward trend. This decrease has continued through a dry fall season and on October 8, 2020, the Board declared Stage II Alarm Drought. The last groundwater drought declaration commenced on July 12, 2018 and ended on October 11, 2018. This dry period is projected through the winter and into spring 2021, as we enter a La Nina year bringing drier and warmer conditions to the southern United States.

To summarize, the Austin/Hill Country area has received an average 36 inches of rainfall so far in 2020, producing recharge for local aquifers. However, below-average rainfall in 2019 and a relatively dry summer and fall 2020 hasn’t provided enough recharge to stay above Stage II Alarm Drought. Official forecasts point toward the La Nina effect bringing drier and milder-than-normal conditions across Central Texas, which will likely result in further declines as 2021 gets underway. Hopefully, spring of 2021 will bring its usual upward swing of recharge to keep the aquifers well-supplied.


Tuesday, October 13, 2020

La Nina in the Tropical Pacific and its Implications on Central Texas


Stage II Alram Drought

Lovelady Well Height: 476 ft-msl

Barton Springs: approximately 38 cfs 10-day average

 In September 2020 the National Oceanic Atmospheric Association (NOAA) issued a La Nina advisory suggesting that there's a 75% chance it hangs around through the winter. Come this October an increased 85% chance it lasts through winter and into spring 2021.

So what is La Nina? What does it mean for weather and rain in Central Texas?

La Nina is the opposite of El Nino, a cooling of the equatorial east-central Pacific Ocean. The strength of the 2020 La Nina (weak, moderate or strong) will determine what impacts it may have on the weather this winter to next spring 2021. Typically, the southern tier of the U.S. sees drier than average conditions and temperatures that are above average, while much of the Pacific Northwest and the Ohio Valley are wetter than normal and see below average temperatures. (Weather Channel)










As of October 8th the Edwards and Trinity aquifers are in Alarm Stage II Drought. Due to a lack of rain and recharge in 2020 and the ensuing La Nina leading into 2021 it is paramount that we practice proper conservation techniques. For more info on the La Nina outlook visit: https://www.climate.gov/news-features/department/enso-blog

Monday, October 12, 2020

BSEACD Board Declares Stage II Alarm Drought on 10/8/20

Stage II Alarm Drought

Lovelady Well Height: 476 ft-msl

Barton Springs: approximately 38 cfs 10-day avg


For Immediate Release: Friday, October 9, 2020

For more information, contact: Vanessa Escobar, General Manager at (512) 282-8441 or 

vescobar@bseacd.org


On  October  8,  2020,  the  Barton  Springs/Edwards  Aquifer  Conservation  District’s  Board  of 

Directors declared Stage II Alarm Drought at its regular Board Meeting. The District Lovelady 

Monitor Well passed below it’s respective drought trigger in late September. Only one of the two 

drought  stage  triggers  needs  to  be  reached  for  a  drought  declaration  to  be  made.  The  

District acknowledges  that  indoor  use  may  be heightened  in  some  cases  due  to  COVID-19  

responses, however it is still a shared duty to reduce all non-essential water use during drought.


The last groundwater drought declaration commenced on July 12, 2018 and ended on October 11, 2018. 

Recharge in late 2018 and early 2019 associated with above-average rainfall helped maintain water 

levels in area aquifers until recently. Since July of 2019, both flow at Barton Springs and the 

water level at the Lovelady monitor well have been declining. As of early April 2020, both have 

been hovering near trigger levels. Recent rainfall has not generated enough runoff to sustain creek 

flow in the creeks and rivers that recharge the aquifers.


Declaration of Stage II Alarm Drought requires all District permittees to implement mandatory 

measures specified in their User Drought Contingency Plans (UDCPs) to meet monthly pumpage 

reduction requirements.

•     20% for Edwards Historical and Conditional Class A permittees,

•     50% for Edwards Conditional Class B permittees,

•     100% for Edwards Conditional Class C and Class D permittees, and

•     20% for Trinity and Alluvial/Austin Chalk Historical permittees

End-user customers served by water utilities on groundwater wells are required to comply with their 

utility’s water use restrictions for this drought stage. Generally, restricting outdoor water use, 

including limiting landscape irrigation, pool filling and refilling, and non-essential water use 

such as water fountains, is sufficient to reach monthly pumpage targets for Stage II Alarm Drought. 

November is the first month that permittees will need to meet reductions in pumpage. Permittees 

should refer to the monthly drought  allocations listed in their  User Drought  Conservation Plan 

(UDCP) and Drought Target Charts.


Useful links:

•     Drought Media Tool-Kit: https://bseacd.org/drought-edu/

•     Press Release archive:  http://bseacd.org/publications/press-releases/

•     Drought Status page:  http://bseacd.org/aquifer-science/drought-status/

•     Drought Management page:  http://bseacd.org/regulatory/drought-management/




Monday, September 21, 2020

Texas Needs to Prepare for a 'Megadrought,' State Climatologist Warns

 No Drought

Lovelady Well Height: 478.5 ft-msl

Barton Springs: approximately 48 cfs 10-day avg

Texas is no stranger to droughts. From the bone-dry stretch of the 1950s, the state’s longest drought, to the fiery months of 2011, the state’s single driest year, droughts have shaped Texas' culture and economy.

But, according to the state climatologist of Texas, John Nielson-Gammon, we ain’t seen nothing yet.

Read full KUT 90.5 article here:

https://www.kut.org/post/texas-needs-prepare-megadrought-state-climatologist-warns


Tuesday, August 25, 2020

CITY OF BUDA DECLARES STAGE 1 WATER RESTRICTIONS Effective Monday, August 24, 2020

Aug. 20, 2020 - Effective Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, Stage 1 Water Restrictions will go into effect for City of Buda water customers in accordance with the City’s adopted Water Resource Management and Drought Response Ordinance. This is due to the lack of consistent precipitation, and higher than normal demands on our water production system. Under Stage 1, twice per week mandatory watering restrictions are now in place. Violation of the ordinance could result in a fine of up to $2,000 per offense and a surcharge on the customer’s utility bill. For more on Stage 1 restrictions and water conservation tips visit: https://www.ci.buda.tx.us/232/Water-Conservation


Official City of Buda website post: https://www.ci.buda.tx.us/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1153

Monday, August 10, 2020

Hays Trinity GCD Declares Drought for Jacob's Well Groundwater Management Zone

Flow at Jacob's Well has dropped below the drought threshold triggering a drought declaration by the Hyas Trinity Groundwater Conservation District at the August 6 Board Meeting. With the Jacob's Well Groundwater Management Zone (GMZ) drought declaration, permittees operating wells within the GMZ are required to reduce pumpage by 20% to extend diminished groundwater supplies. - Wimberley Valley Watershed Association.

Read more here.

 Drought Stage


Note: The Jacob's Well GMZ is in the Hays Trinity GCD boundary and not in the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservations District boundary.

When It Rains, Texans Forget Drought and Worsening Water Scarcity

 Article by Keith Schneider, Circle of Blue

August 3, 2020

After the Pandemic, soaring population growth, development will again challenge planning and water Supply in the Texas Hill Country.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Tropical Storm Hanna, a Record-Breaking Tropical Storm Season and a Coin-Flip La Nina for the Fall

Summary:
  • The amount of the state under drought conditions increased from about 25 percent four weeks ago to about 36 percent
  • Despite drought conditions, statewide reservoir storage is normal for this time of year
  • Tropical Storm Hanna should improve drought conditions in Central and South-Central Texas
Read full article here