About the Author
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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AWU reports drought continues
The drought continues to take a toll on water storage in the Highland Lakes, according to a report presented to the Water and Wastewater Commission last week by the Austin Water Utility. According to AWU’s Theresa Lutes, the combined storage in lakes Travis and Buchanan is 695,000 acre feet of water, which is about 35 percent of normal capacity. However, she said, those numbers are unlikely to improve as inflows for the period of January through September of this year are the fourth driest in the history of the lakes. She said at the current rate — without significant inflows — storage in the lakes could fall below the 600,000 acre-foot threshold in February or soon thereafter, triggering additional restrictions on water use. One bright spot, she told the commission, was that forecasters were predicting a 60 to 65 percent chance of an El Niño weather pattern in the Pacific Ocean this season, which would normally brings wetter conditions to Central Texas.
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