After reviewing declining water levels in District Monitor Wells, lower than normal rainfall, the lack of flow in local creeks and rivers, and future weather forecasts, the Blanco Pedernales Groundwater Conservation District Board of Directors has raised drought conditions in Blanco County to Drought Stage Two. The Directors also considered that national and state drought indicators for surface conditions are generally reporting extreme drought for Central Texas and these conditions are not expected to improve in the foreseeable future.
The Drought Stage Two goes into effect on June 23, 2011 and will continue until further notice.
According to Johnson City Manager David Dockery. Johnson City residents have already been conserving water. Dockery says because of the concern city residents have about the extended drought conditions, that daily pumpage has already decreased about 15-20% and he expects additional reductions under Stage Two. Johnson City will notify its customers of the need to comply with water use restrictions imposed by Johnson City under their TCEQ-approved Drought Plan. If you are unsure of current water use restrictions, please contact the Johnson City Water Department at City Hall for further information.
The City of Blanco obtains surface water from Canyon Lake Water Service Company and has not yet had to declare drought conditions or impose drought-related water use restrictions on their customers. Since the water level in Canyon Lake continue to drop, Canyon Lake WSC is expected to incorporate Drought Restrictions sometime in the near future. Therefore, anyone who is served by that water system may find it prudent to voluntarily incorporate water conservation measures in order to help reduce demand on their surface water supplies.
Under Stage Two, the District’s Drought Rules set a conservation goal of 20% reduction in average or “normal” groundwater use. Groundwater users can achieve the conservation goal reductions by following one or more of the water conservation methods listed below.
Stage Two – Moderate Drought
Conservation Goal: 20% reduction in groundwater use
Usage Reduction Measures:
• Continue, or increase, voluntary reduction in various uses
• Check for and correct all plumbing leaks
• Water outside lawns, trees, shrubs once every 5 to 7 days
• Water between the hours of 8pm and 8am
• Keep swimming pools, landscape or decorative ponds, and fountains covered, use water recirculation, and refill only once every 5 to 7 days
• Wash vehicles at car wash only as needed
• No washing of buildings, driveways, streets, patios, or other outdoor surfaces except as required for human or animal health and safety needs, or for fire prevention
• Water livestock in leak-proof troughs as much as practical
• Providing groundwater to ponds, lakes, tanks, reservoirs, swimming pools, or other surface impoundments for holding water that have a total capacity of more than 50,000 gallons is prohibited except for those wells permitted for non-domestic irrigation.
The District is grateful for the water conservation efforts of well owners during the last several months. The reductions in use, in conjunction with a few scattered rain showers, helped slow the steady decline in water levels measured in District Monitor Wells. Unfortunately, the lack of rainfall has persisted and water demand has increased with the onset of summer, resulting in the District having to impose more restrictive Drought Stage Two water use restrictions.
General Manager Ron Fieseler noted that with at least two and perhaps three more months of hot summer weather ahead of us, we all need to work cooperatively to conserve water. Outside water demand is the largest use of groundwater, whether it is domestic landscaping, ball fields, agricultural crops, hay meadows, ponds, or a golf course. As a result, the largest reduction in groundwater use can be achieved by using the conservation measures for outside uses described above.
Fieseler said that, with little hope for significant rainfall during the summer, water conservation is the only way we might be able to help the District avoid having to declaring a more serious drought condition in the coming weeks.
Drought conditions stress not only the aquifer, but also those of us who rely on groundwater for our daily needs. We can get through these trying times if we remember that our Blanco County groundwater is our most valuable resource. We must all use it wisely.
If you have any questions or concerns about water wells, drought conditions, water conservation practices, or Blanco County groundwater resources, you should contact the District directly. The District is the primary source in Blanco County for aquifer questions, water level records, water quality data and testing, individual well records, and overall geology and hydrology information. The District Office is located at 601 West Main in Johnson City and the office phone number is 830-868-9196. You can also email the General Manager, Ron Fieseler, at: firstname.lastname@example.org.