When the temperatures drop and the skies become overcast, it might be easy to forget that we are still in the worst single-year drought in Texas history. But as the Lower Colorado River Authority points out, the cooler weather should not be mistaken for drought relief.
Lakes Travis and Buchanan, our region’s water supply reservoirs, are 37 percent full. Lake Travis is 41 feet below its monthly average. Lake Buchanan is 23 feet lower than its average, causing a piece of land normally underwater to become visible.
Meanwhile, tighter watering restrictions take effect in Round Rock today that allow people to water their lawns and gardens only once a week: odd-numbered addresses on Saturdays and even-numbered addresses on Sundays, and not between the hours of 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.
People who ignore the restrictions can be fined up to $2,000. Repeat offenders could have their water shut off.
The Houston Chronicle launched a series today on the uncertain future for Texas’ water supply, pointing out that one plan designed to meet demand for the next 50 years would cost a staggering $53 billion.
But environmentalists are pointing to San Antonio as an example for other Texas cities. Ken Kramer with the Sierra Club’s Lone Star Chapter told the Chronicle that San Antonio doesn’t pump anymore water today than it did 20 years ago, because it has focused on conservation.