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Mark Richardson is a multimedia journalist, editor and writer who has worked in digital, print and broadcast media for three decades. He is a nationally recognized editor and reporter who has covered government, politics and the environment. A journalism graduate from the University of Texas at Austin, he was recently awarded a Foundation for Investigative Journalism grant and has three Associated Press Managing Editors awards for excellence in reporting.
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Aquifer district close to declaring first stage of drought
Drought season is upon us, but if you think that this year’s drought will be same as others in past years, think again. Local agencies such as the Lower Colorado River Authority, the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District and the City of
At last night’s meeting, the Aquifer District board discussed calling an Alert Stage Drought as both of its indicators, the level in the Lovelady Well near Buda and spring flow at Barton Springs, were near the trigger levels and trending downward. The water level at the Lovelady Well is at 177.1 feet with the trigger level at 181 feet. And the flow at Barton Springs was measured at a 10-day average of 41 cubic feet per second with the trigger at 38 CFS.
In April 2007, the BSEACD adopted a new set of rules to set limits on the total amount of water that can be pumped during a drought. While the limits on Alert Stage (20 percent reduction in use) and Alarm Stage (30 percent) remain in place, if pumpage remains too high, the district can call an Extreme Response Period, or ERP.
Under an ERP, the board will cut all Class A conditional permits by 50 percent for 90 days; then to 75 percent for 90 days; then 100 percent until the drought abates.
At last night’s meeting, the BSEACD Board, unsure of some of the measurements at Barton Springs, said it would take another 10 days of readings and decide on the drought status at its next meeting on June 26.
Meanwhile, this is the first summer for the City of
Shortly before the new conservation measures went into effect in September 2007, the city formed a Water Conservation Committee that will continually review and make recommendations for changes and additional measures for conservation.
In addition, the LCRA recently formed a Water Conservation Task Force from a diverse group of stakeholders to guide LCRA’s long-term efforts for water conservation. Task force members represent water users in the lower
Over the next six months, task force members will develop a list of conservation measures to consider for implementation; developing screening criteria to prioritize measures for implementation; and reviewing draft recommendations for a state-required conservation plan.
Stage 1 limits outdoor watering with sprinklers to once a week on designated days, along with other water restrictions. The last time
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