Drought continues, despite wintry snaps

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by ANDREW CHUNG / KVUE News and photojournalist DENNIS THOMAS

Bio | Email | Follow: @AndrewC_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on February 12, 2014 at 7:16 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 12 at 7:21 PM

AUSTIN -- In the most recent aerial video provided by the Lower Colorado River Authority, not much has changed at Lake Travis. The shoreline is still very much exposed.

Right now, Austin is in Stage 2 water restrictions, which limits watering to one day a week. Austin Water spokesperson Jill Mayfield says residents have been doing a great job.

"Our water numbers, our usage numbers, are really at a good point right now, so people have been mindful of the conservation message and really taking it to heart," Mayfield said.

Right now, Lake Travis is 37 percent full. Lake Buchanan is 39 percent full, so the combined storage is 38 percent.

Mayfield says if Central Texas doesn't get sufficient rain over the next few months, Stage 3 restrictions are a possibility. 

"That's at 600,000 acre-feet. Today, we're at about 763,000 acre-feet for both Travis and Buchanan," Mayfield said.

Round Rock's director of utilities, Michael Thane, says residents are also doing a great job of conserving water. 

"Our daily usage is really low, and we need that now as we're going through this drought. So, they've been responding to our education and outreach programs very well," Thane said.

When asked if he is concerned about the city going to higher water restrictions, he said there's no need to panic now, but, he said, "As you hit the summer months, we'll definitely be watching that closely."

In San Marcos, the city is currently under Stage 2 water restrictions. However, the city's conservation coordinator, Jan Klein, says without good rainfall over the next few months, Stage 3 could be triggered.

KVUE'S Albert Ramon says there just might be a bit of good news...possibly.

"Well, currently we are in a neutral weather pattern, meaning we're not in El Nino or La Nina, but some long-range models indicate that we may be heading back into a El Nino weather pattern, and that may be above-average rainfall for us as we head towards the summer months," Ramon said.

Of course, since that forecast is subject to change, the best thing to do is to continue conserving water, while hoping the lakes get more rain. Much more rain.


 

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