Stage II restrictions for part of Edwards Aquifer district

Last week, KVUE took you to Lake Travis - the biggest indicator of our drought. The lake's infamous Sometimes Island continues to grow due to our meager rainfall.

Because conditions haven't improved, the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District triggered Stage II Drought Restrictions on Thursday. This affects about 60,000 people in parts of Hays, Travis, and Caldwell Counties.

Under these restrictions, they are required to reduce pumping by 20 percent, as well as limit landscape irrigation and filling pools.

The Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer uses two monitoring sites: the Barton Springs gauge and the Lovelady Monitor well to determine drought triggers.

Because Lovelady fell to 477.8 feet, less than the drought trigger level of 478.4 feet, the district enacted Stage II restrictions. It takes only one of the two sites to trigger drought restrictions.

The Barton Springs site measures the flow of water with a drought threshold of 38 cubic feet per second. Right now it's above that threshold, but is expected to drop below it in May.

If you look at the big picture, the Austin area needs nearly six inches of rain to break the agricultural drought.

Lake Travis and the local aquifers would like some of that rain, too.

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