drought

Environment
1:16 pm
Fri August 12, 2011

Drought Leads to a Rise In Animal Bites

Kelly Conrad Bender, an urban wildlife biologist for Texas Parks and Wildlife, shows off a Mexican Milk snake. Bender discussed the issues involving the drought and wild animal bites at the University Medical Center at Brakenridge.
Photo by Jessie Wang for KUT News

The number of venomous bites and stings has increased since last year as the drought sends snakes and other wild animals searching for food and water.

Kelly Conrad Bender, an urban wildlife biologist for Texas Parks and Wildlife, came to the University Medical Center Brakenridge to explain the changes in wildlife.

“Wildlife, these individual animals, has not experienced this kind of drought, but their species has. They are the result of thousands of years of adaptation to our climate and these droughts do happen occasionally, maybe once every 50 to 100 years. So the species, given appropriate habitat and given a good balanced stable habitat, they will survive and they’ll come out stronger,” Bender said.

Read more
Texas
2:18 pm
Mon August 1, 2011

Burn Bans in Place in a Record 249 Counties

A record number of burn bans are in place in Texas with 249 counties.
Photo by KUT News

The Texas Forest Service maintains a map of which counties in the state have outdoor burn bans, and notes them in red. As of this morning, the map makes Texas look like it's got a bad sunburn.

Read more
Austin
4:52 pm
Fri July 29, 2011

Hays County Reminds Businesses of Drought Disaster Assistance

Severe drought conditions throughout Texas have made federally-subsidized loans available to small businesses.
Photo Courtesy U.S. Department of Agriculture

Hays County officials sent out a quick reminder to his week to help raise awareness of U.S. Small Business Administration disaster loans.

The SBA announced in June that small, non-farm businesses in all 254 Texas counties are eligible to apply for low-interest disaster loans to help cover financial losses caused by the drought. But the Hays County Commissioners Court worried local businesses didn't know they could apply for the help.

Read more
parks and recreation
5:00 pm
Mon July 25, 2011

City Needs Help Saving Park Trees From Drought

A tree in Bull Creek District Park
Photo by KUT News

The record drought is imperiling Austin’s trees. But the city’s Parks and Recreations Department only has about 120 employees to maintain about 15,000 acres of parkland. So the Austin Parks Foundation is hoping it can convince friendly neighbors to help its trees survive.

Their preventive measure is simple but it will require you to break a sweat: spreading mulch around the base of the tree.

Read more
food
2:51 pm
Mon July 25, 2011

Help Drought Stricken Farmers: Eat Their Food

courtesy flickr.com/photos/46523905@N00/

Three-quarters of Texas is experiencing “exceptional drought”, the worst category used by the US Drought Monitor. The effect on farmers and ranchers has been profound. But a state program launching today aims to give city folk a way to help farmers and ranchers by enjoying the fruits – and meats – of their labor.

Read more
Texas
11:55 am
Mon July 18, 2011

Chance of Tropical Rain Looks Slim

The exceptional drought could get worse with no chance of significant rainfall in the near term.
Photo by KUT News

In case you haven't noticed, it is hot, hot, hot outside and Central Texas is in need of some showers. Late July and early August are normally the driest and hottest parts of the summer, so the chance of rain is slim.

Read more
Environment
2:21 pm
Wed July 6, 2011

Water Precautions for New Schlitterbahn Park

Schitterbahn's owners expect to open a new water park in Cedar Park, like the one on Galveston Island (pictured), in 2013.
Photo coutesy Galveston.com http://www.flickr.com/photos/galvestonisland/

A new Schiltterbahn water park will open in two years in Cedar Park. It’s slated to be smaller than the New Braunfels location. Officials say plans for the park take into consideration frequent drought conditions in Central Texas, much like the region is experiencing now.

Read more
Texas
12:16 pm
Wed July 6, 2011

What Do Stage Four Water Restrictions Mean For Fredricksburg?

Fredericksburg starts enforcing Stage Four water restrictions Thursday.
Photo by KUT News

Extreme drought conditions and continued high water usage have prompted the City of Fredericksburg to implement Stage Four water restrictions. They take effect tomorrow.

If you were wondering what that means, here are the details:

Read more
Environment
11:40 am
Tue July 5, 2011

Drought Hurts Some Insects and Helps Others

Photo by Prashant Maxsteel http://www.flickr.com/photos/prashantmaxsteel/

The drought presents both good and bad news for Austinites struggling with insect and pest populations. Ants and mosquitos are in decline right now, while spider mites and chinch bugs are thriving.  

Texas Agri-Life entomologist Wizzie Brown says that hot dry conditions are good for some insect populations and bad for others. She says the number of fire ants at ground level and mosquito populations drop during droughts.

Read more
News Brief
6:10 am
Tue July 5, 2011

Top Morning Stories July 05, 2011

Thanks to the drought Lake Travis is 23 feet below the historic average for July, according to the Lower Colorado River Authority.
Photo by KUT News.

Lake Levels Dropping

The drought has been dropping lake levels in Central Texas.  The Lower Colorado River Authority says the water level at Lake Travis is at about 646 feet. That’s 23 feet below its historic average for July. Lake Buchanan is about 12 feet below its historic average for this month. The rain outlook doesn’t look too promising, although there is a slight chance for rain this weekend. 

Read more
Texas
3:05 pm
Fri July 1, 2011

Drought predicted to worsen

Lake Travis' diminishing shoreline. Lake Travis is a popular recreational water source for swimmers, boaters and water sports of all kinds.
KUT News

Fireworks displays have been banned, lakes drying up and crops scorched. It's safe to say the drought in Central Texas is bad. And it's not over yet.

Read more
Environment
5:14 pm
Tue June 28, 2011

Feds Declare 213 Texas Counties as Drought Disaster Zones

Drought stunted wheat in Texas
Photo by agrilifetoday http://www.flickr.com/photos/agrilifetoday/

Calling it “one of the worst droughts in more than a century”, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has named 213 of Texas’ 254 counties as primary natural disaster areas. The measure allows farmers and ranchers to apply for federal disaster aid. The remaining 41 counties also qualify for assistance because they are contiguous.

Read more
Austin
12:33 pm
Wed June 22, 2011

Rain Offers Little Relief for Drought

Graphic courtesy of the National Drought Mitigation Center.

Central Texas got some temporary relief from the ongoing drought.  Lower Colorado River Authority meteorologist Bob Rose says, while one to over two inches of rain fell in many areas, we would need a lot more rainy days to break the drought.

Read more
Austin
1:46 pm
Mon June 20, 2011

LCRA Warns of Lake Hazards, Urges Conservation

The Lake Travis level is 23 feet below the monthly average of 461 feet.
Photo courtesy of LCRA.

Correction for Clarification: The Lower Colorado River Authority requests that customers impose mandatory water restrictions when the combines lake storage drop below 900,000 acre-feet of water, but does not curtail.

Read more
Environment
1:35 pm
Fri June 17, 2011

Exceptional Drought Spreads, Llano River Near Dry

A picture of the Llano River Bridge during its last drought in 2008.
Photo by kjoyner666 http://www.flickr.com/photos/delusionary/

The city’s and county’s move to ban all fireworks, public and private, for the Fourth of July weekend seem like a bummer to some people, but when you examine at the local drought conditions, it’s hard to blame them.  The US Drought Monitor Map shows the entire region is in “exceptional” drought, which is the worst category they have.

Read more

Pages