The Lakes are low is the usual drought narrative.
Water shortages are the greatest concerns Central Texas will face in the next 5 years.
“Historically this is probably one of the most intense droughts, especially over the last two to three years. 2011, the lowest inflows were record into Lakes Travis and Buchanan. Those are the lakes we worry about, that’s our water supply,” LCRA General Manager Becky Motal said.
I think this is a bigger issue than Austin residents and realize. The City is working with the LCRA to manage the crisis we are facing by raising the cost of water usage for residents living in the area and will place fines are anyone violating the Phase 2 watering restrictions. The LCRA has to manage the lake levels which supply the City of Austin with their water and the downstream farmers who use the water on their crops.
The best thing we can do as consumers of water is to offset our water usage. The best ways to do that is convert your outdoor landscapes to low water use xeriscapes that are better suited to our region. I also recommend installing large rain collection tanks to capture our seasonal rain fall and store it in the hotter and drier months. Finally, homeowners can channel water that runs into their property and direct to stay on their property and soak into the water table below.
There are many other approaches to saving water inside the home as well such as saving your laundry and doing it in larger loads on warm settings, installing lower pressure shower heads and faucets, and being more conscientious on overall water use.
Water is a valuable resource that is becoming more scarce in our region as the population grows exponentially and rainfall is less frequent.