State Climatologist: Texas Water Reservoir Level Set to Hit Historic Low in Two Weeks

Categories: Environment

droughtreport.jpg
Texas Water Development Board
Texas is still almost entirely covered in drought, but it's easy to forget it. North Texas has been comparatively dry, while much of the rest of the state received some much-needed rain over the summer. It has not, however, been nearly enough to replenish the state's shrinking reservoirs. If this keeps up, state climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon says reservoirs are on track to sink to an all-time low.

"If they keep going down at the present rate, it will only take about two more weeks before they will set an all-time record for the difference between how much water they were designed to hold and how much water they actually have in them," Nielsen-Gammon told Texas A&M AgriLife. "We continue to set records levels for this time of year, but this will be an all-time record low."

According to the most recent drought report, Texas reservoirs are 59 percent full. On the bright side, Nielsen-Gammon says climate models predict a tropical storm forming in the Gulf of Mexico, which could bring rain to South and south Central Texas. The rest of the state, as it stands, may have no such luck.

For the cattle industry, it's a kick to the ribs as it struggles to get back on its feet. The Texas herd has been depleted to record levels since 2011 -- the driest year on record -- forced ranchers to sell of their stock at the auction barn. In January they'd planned on keeping some cows out of the feedlot to replenish the calf herd. David Anderson, a Texas A&M agricultural economist, says falling reservoirs and the poor condition of pastures may scuttle the rebuilding of the Texas cattle industry.

For drinkers of water in general, the stress on our water supply is growing. The reservoirs serving Central Texas, for example, are roughly a third full. The photos above of Lake Buchanan, circa 2008 and August. 31, 2013, tell the story.


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61 comments
MisterMean
MisterMean

I have a solution-how about more fracking!    Gotta frack Gotta frack.     Regardless of the fact that the water used for fracking is unusable afterwards.

roo_ster
roo_ster

I am not some big time tree hugger enviro pinhead, but why do folk think they need to water their (assumed established) lawns more than once per week? (New-installs, of course, need daily watering.)  Water costs money and watering more than once per week wastes my money.

I have St Augustine that looks pretty darned good & healthy and I water it once per week during the drought, using hose & impact sprinklers.  Less when it rains.  I cut it a bit long and fertilize a couple times per year.  Were it not for the water restrictions limiting me to one day per week, I could use more efficient soaker hoses and use less water to get the same effect more slowly during the week.  That would be my druthers, but the time limits forces me to a broadcast impact sprinkler.

I would not want to xeriscape, because that makes a lawn pretty useless for the kiddos.

cawnlu
cawnlu

Hopefully lake levels will at least improve with the re-opening of the pipeline from Texoma to Wylie. It won't solve the drought issue, but at least the reserves will be a bit healthier.

Andrea Ande King Sepelak
Andrea Ande King Sepelak

Some think we can secede as if we are self reliant but we dont have enough water. Cant drink oil!

Cynthia Wolf
Cynthia Wolf

My lake in so drought stricken, it's sick with bluegreen algae. So is The Sea of Galilee. Common thread: chemtrails. I'm meeting next week with the Army Corp of Engineers & a lake specialist. It's clear if we pull up the algae, it won't be able to stagnate the water & make it sick.

Gabe48
Gabe48

Do you know where they have plenty of water?........At Mac's Barbecue on Main St. in Dallas. It's a great "joint" serving excellent barbecue, especially the jalapeño sausage, meaty ribs, and fresh cut fries. They are open for lunch only, Mon. - Fri., and are a small Mom and Pop run restaurant.

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

Water you worryin about? Rick Perry must have another miracle ready.


Or maybe Jeffress can work his pipeline to the allmighty??


Yes, the facts and figures should be in every water bill, showing the trending, and time left for each area.

Nathan York
Nathan York

Right, Jason, cause that's what we need...more superstition, less science. You can't pump millions of years worth of carbon into the atmosphere with the expectation of anything other than warming.

Monica Peña Sanchez
Monica Peña Sanchez

I feel so sad every time I pass over what was my favorite place to watch the birds come back to their nests here in Rowlett part of Lake Ray Hubbard!! We need a flood, unfortunately!! :-(

Jason Haeger
Jason Haeger

"if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land." - 2 Chronicles 7:14 You cannot deny Him, hate Him, disobey Him, and mock Him with the expectation of anything other than judgement. Repent, return to Him.

Nathan York
Nathan York

I've lived in dallas my entire life except during 2011-2012 when I lived in Tucson, AZ. There it's desert and no one has lawns. Its all gravel with desert plants here and there. Here's the thing: Dallas used to get a lot of rain in the summer but this summer, my first summer back, there was virtually none. In Tucson, all of July and August is the "monsoon season" and there is plenty of rain. In fact, it's obvious to me that desert Tucson gets WAY more rain than Dallas now. I'm sure the evidence bears this out. How long will it be before the camel's back breaks?

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

Damn this drought!

How will we ever extract all of that wonderful natural gas via fraccing without millions and millions of gallons of fresh, potable water?

Blake Wilson
Blake Wilson

You can (and should) report them. If they're watering cement, then they're in violation.

Blake Wilson
Blake Wilson

If you can read the writing on the wall, its heading that way,

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

What would Timothy Treadwell say?

"WE NEED MORE RAIN!!!"

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

Watering restrictions go unenforced, xeriscaping not allowed in some cities or by HOAs, more golf courses being built.   Love the "what me worry" approach being taken.

Tim Evans
Tim Evans

Maybe if my apartment complex didn't flood the parking lot twice a week there would be more water. It's insane how much is wasted on landscaping just for looks

Nathan York
Nathan York

^So, in other words, we shouldn't have lawns anymore.

Roundtree Landscaping, Inc.
Roundtree Landscaping, Inc.

Just means you have to plant super hardy, drought tolerant plants so our landscapes don't realize it isn't being watered as much. :)

Jeffrey Lowry
Jeffrey Lowry

I thought Rick Perry was going to pray about this? Can't rely on that guy for anything.

r.bryantgoodall
r.bryantgoodall

T. Boone Pickens can help! He has 60,000 acres on top of the LARGEST FRESH WATER AQUIFER IN THE UNITED STATES. Luckily he's claimed it as its own municipal utilities district so he doesn't have to pay any taxes on it when he decides to start selling DFW and Texas their water back, at a premium. What a great guy! Did you know that the Bush family owns land in Paraguay that's reportedly on top of the WORLD'S LARGEST FRESH WATER AQUIFER? Nah, me neither. Nothing to see here.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@Cynthia Wolf 

Facebook and chemtrails - a match made in heaven.

spearits
spearits

@Gabe48  I tried that BBQ and had the shits for three days.

LeroyJenkem
LeroyJenkem

@Sharon_Moreanus That's something that a lot of people don't know about the Drought of Record back then. If the drought hadn't broken in 1956, Dallas would have been uninhabitable due to a lack of water. As it is, the reservoirs all around the Metroplex aren't just there to catch bass fishermen's beer cans: those were researched and built by people who survived the 1952-56 drought and wanted to make sure we wouldn't go through that again.

Willie
Willie

@TheCredibleHulk  Actually, operators in the Eagle Ford are relying on brackish water and are treating and reusing water.  The biggest drain on fresh ground water supplies are agricultural interests.

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

@Sotiredofitall Who is supposed to actually enforce water restrictions? In Dallas we don't have enough cops as is and they're dealing with real crime. We're obviously very understaffed on code enforcement. The only thing watering restrictions do is hope that concerned citizens follow them.

That said, I agree with everything else you said.

ElFlaco714
ElFlaco714

@r.bryantgoodall In your mind is there any problem existing on planet Earth that is NOT Bush's fault?  Never mind, we all know the answer.

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

Um...you can't bottle or sell water from Ogallala.The biggest depletion is from agriculture.Study's are showing it will be mostly depleted by 2060.FYI...TBP isn't the largest landowner on the OA that runs thru 8 states.I recommend you start with North Plains Groundwater Conservation District to educate yourself.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@LeroyJenkem @Sharon_Moreanus  

The City of Dallas built a pipeline to the Red River in order to bring water to the City during that drought.


It is said that in some of the older areas of the City, the foundations still have a red tinge to them.  My mother told me how awful the water tasted and the fact that you could not get clothes clean.

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

@Willie  But isn't agriculture where most of the water should go rather than on lawns and golf courses?

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@Willie @TheCredibleHulk 

Good for them.

I won't deny that ag interests are the largest water users. Would you deny that large quantities of fresh water are used in the fraccing process? (Not necessarily in the Eagle Ford)

randi.trollop
randi.trollop

@P1Gunter @Sotiredofitall The rate paid for water should go up with increased usage, not down.  Easy to tell how much water is being used by looking at the bill.  You can write software to help the Code enforcement drones do their jobs.

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

@P1Gunter They managed to find a way to enforce money collection for the NTTA ?

alind20308
alind20308

@P1Gunter @Sotiredofitall  I think they could start by auditing waters bills. All the houses in my neighborhood are about the same SQ, surely the people watering everyday have a much higher consumption rate than everyone else.

r.bryantgoodall
r.bryantgoodall

So the son of a CIA director, grandson of a wall street banker with nazi ties, and constant failure as a business man is above reproach because he knew how to handle the aftermath of a terrorist attack or is it because 'you'd have a beer with him' and he's 'a texan'? You probably believe the 9/11 was just a 'monumental security failure'. Do yourself a favor, though I may be out of left field with the aquifer, do your own investigation on good ole boy Dick Chaney's war games going on that day. Operation Northern Vigilance, Global Guardian, Vigilant Guardian, Vigilant Warrior. Never forget those who needlessly died in the "New Pearl Harbor". OH and the government isn't spying on us or calling us the enemy either... go back to sleep.

LeroyJenkem
LeroyJenkem

@Sharon_Moreanus That's the part that scares me. Our aquifers tend to be rather salty as it is, but that could be mitigated by regular rains washing the salt out of the soil. If we keep up at this rate, not only are we going to have most of the state's aquifers depleted, but the fields will be far too salty for most crops. Either way, we don't win.

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

Where do the ponds get the water? Just because some water sources may not be potable does not mean the use of these non potable sources does not stress water supplies.

Willie
Willie

@Sotiredofitall  No disagreement there, but golf courses use pond water, which is non-potable.  The chlorine in potable water is bad for grass used for greens.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@Willie @TheCredibleHulk 

What happens to all of that water when the frackers are done with it, Willie?

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@Willie @TheCredibleHulk 

Where'd you go, Willie?

Would it be safe to say that we are using hundreds of millions of gallons of fresh water annually to frack?

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@Willie @TheCredibleHulk 

I won't deny that.

Sooooooo . . .

2 million gallons per well, you say?

Do you have a credible estimate of how many wells we are sinking 'round these parts?

Willie
Willie

@TheCredibleHulk About 2 million gallons of water are used to frack a well.  The Bakken in ND is the other shale play where water is an issue because of the competing agricultural interests (not many people live in the area).  Water recycling facilities are being built.  Anyway, would you deny that you know very little about what you're spewing?

r.bryantgoodall
r.bryantgoodall

Cognitive dissonance... research that term first. Then read about those War Games (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_government_operations_and_exercises_on_September_11,_2001), read about the Project for A New American Century (drafted years before 9/11 by Wolfowitz and others in the Bush Administration) calling for "A New Pearl Harbor" in order to secure our presence as the new age world power. Read about the 1000s of Architects and Engineers crying out for a new investigation. What about the evidence of controlled explosions? Or WTC7 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rNR6Kbg5jJ8)? You're right. I am deranged to be bringing this up on a blog that's primarily sponsored by seedy massage ads and even seedier personal ads. 

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

The salt cedars aren't helping in the panhandle either.

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