So, my ”no rain till November 6″ dance failed miserably. I hope my readers are all okay, and that your homes and families got through a messy week well and safely.
For many Austinites these “before and after” photos may be all the proof they need to assume the drought is over and Proposition 6 is unnecessary:
In case you missed it that’s Stevie Ray Vaughn on the ‘shore’ of Lady Bird Lake, first in “normal” conditions, then on the morning of October 31, 2013.
And if that’s not enough, it looks like Central Texas voters will need their umbrellas next week to go vote for funding the State Water Plan! Really?!!!!
On the other hand, here’s LCRA’s home page this morning: LCRA.org.
I suspect that start page will change shortly, so in case it has changed by the time you click the link, the headline is “Midweek storms causing widespread downstream flooding Friday,” with the subhead “Heavy rains did little to ease historic drought.” In the body of the article, here’s the important point for Central Texans:
“The storms did little to help the severe drought affecting the region’s water supply because the heavy rains fell downstream of the Highland Lakes. In order for rain to fill lakes Travis and Buchanan, the region’s reservoirs, it must fall in the 11,700-mile Highland Lakes’ watershed, an area upstream of Austin stretching north past San Saba and west past Fredericksburg and Junction.
“Less than an inch of rain fell in the watershed that feeds Lake Travis, and there was no measurable rain in much of the area that runs off into Lake Buchanan. The combined storage of lakes Travis and Buchanan increased slightly overnight and is now at 36 percent of capacity.”
Farther down the page, LCRA is already proposing to curtail agricultural water releases in 2014 — potentially the third consecutive year in which rice farmers do not receive water from the Highland Lakes.
Finally, although we obviously focus on local conditions, keep in mind that this week’s rain missed most of the state. As of October 29, about 87% of the state was either “abnormally dry” or in some stage of drought:
The good news in our area is that this week’s rain was undoubtedly very good for the Edwards Aquifer, and the rainfall south of Austin will ease the need for environmental and agricultural water releases in the short term. The bad news is that for all the hardship flooding caused our friends and neighbors, this week’s weather did almost nothing to help the water supply for most of Austin and Travis County.
Now, I’m going back to being grateful for badly needed rain, and to wishing you all well. I won’t go back to my “no rain” dance.
Looking forward to success on November 5 …. Please vote FOR Proposition 6!