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Water levels in Central, South Texas aquifers dropping

Wednesday, August 13, 2014 by Mark Richardson

You’d think with all the rain and storms lately, the drought would be a thing of the past. But that is not the case. Tuesday, the Edwards Aquifer Authority in San Antonio voted to impose Stage IV restrictions on pumping, saying the aquifer’s water level has fallen below the critical threshold of 630 feet above sea level. That means water customers in Bexar and Medina counties and parts of Atascosa, Caldwell, Comal, Guadalupe and Hays counties must cut pumping by 40 percent. The north end of the Edwards, the Barton Springs segment in parts of Travis, Hays and Bastrop counties, could face a similar change in status this week. The Barton Springs aquifer district board meets Thursday and will consider the state of its portion of the underground river. As of Tuesday, the aquifer’s two drought triggers – the Lovelady Well level and the flow at Barton Springs – were at or below the threshold to send it into Stage II status, meaning a 20 percent reduction in pumping. Board members took the aquifer out of drought status in late June but warned at the time that hot summer weather could draw it down again.

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