The heavy autumn storms may have left you wondering whether Austin’s water woes are over. Sadly they aren’t.
According to the Austin Water Utility website, October storms only produced modest increases to the water supply in lakes Travis and Buchanan, the two major water sources for Austin. The rain received will not be enough to end water rationing.
When rain falls in the city or its environs, it runs off into Lake Austin, Lady Bird Lake or the Colorado River downstream of the Highland Lakes. For Lakes Travis and Buchanan to fill, storm water must fall in or above the lake’s watershed, which is upstream of the city.
Currently, the combined storage level of the two lakes is just 37% of capacity. If that level continues below 55 percent of capacity after March 1, 2014, the Lower Colorado River Authority (LRCA) will ask the state for permission to cut off Highland Lakes water to most downstream farmers. This will be the third time in three years that this has happened.
Homeowners and businesses will also be affected. A shortfall in lake water storage levels will mean Austin consumers will only be able to water a maximum of once a week. So while the drought has not worsened, it has also not improved enough to do away with stage 2 restrictions.
If you haven’t thought about how you’ll manage your watering needs in the spring and summer, now is the time. The experts at South Austin Irrigation can help you come up with watering solutions for your lawn and garden that will help you conserve one of our most precious resources and save money. Contact us today!