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Are Drought Conditions Building?

This map on the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality website shows the drought impact on Texas surface water as of March 20.

New Braunfels could enter “stage 1” water restrictions as early as this week, according to a press release posted on New Braunfels Utilities’ (NBU) website on March 23.

The utility reports the area has not received the amount of rain needed to keep Edwards Aquifer from dropping.

There is no indication that Canyon Lake could soon follow.

No updates have been posted here on Canyon Lake Water Service Company’s website. Drought stage implementation in Canyon Lake is determined by threshold levels of consumption or supply, the level of Canyon Lake, or any combination of these.

However, drought conditions are building in Central Texas, ahead of rains forecast for mid-week, and extend into Canyon Lake.

Here’s the March 20 update for Texas, posted to droughtmonitor.unl.edu:

“Precipitation was generally below normal (0.25-1.0 inch deficits) across the region during the USDM period. During the last 30 days, much of Texas was running about 1 inch below normal for the period while the rest of the region was as much as 10 inches above normal. The dryness is beginning to affect agriculture, plant and wildlife. It was reported that cotton and corn growers in the Rio Grande Valley may begin to irrigate earlier than normal due to the abnormally dry conditions in the area. According to the USDA, 60% of wheat in Texas was in poor to very poor condition while 66% of topsoil moisture across the state was short to very short. Moderate drought was expanded in western and parts of southern Texas. Severe drought was expanded in western Texas. Drought and dryness is not currently effecting the majority of the other states of the region.”

Click here to Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s weekly list of  public water supply systems limiting use to avoid shortages.

But in New Braunfels, over the last 10 days, the level of the Edwards Aquifer has dropped approximately one-half foot.

The J-17 well dropped to 662 feet on March 22, only about two feet above the trigger for Stage 1 watering resolutions.

“Throughout the spring season, the demand for water typically increases as residents and businesses are preparing their lawns and gearing up for summer,” says Ian Taylor, NBU chief executive officer.

“Increased demand for water use, along with little rainfall are contributing factors to the Edwards Aquifer Level.”

Stage one water restrictions limit use of sprinklers or irrigation systems.


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