by Brittany Anderson
While the local aquifer district is lifting water restrictions, that doesn’t mean all cities are following suit.
The Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District July 8 lifted the Stage II Drought Declaration and declared a No-Drought condition for the aquifers.
However, residents within Buda and Kyle city limits must follow their local restrictions. Kyle plans to maintain its drought standing, while Buda is following in line with BS/EACD.
The Edwards and Trinity Aquifer region, which includes Kyle and Buda, has received a little over 18 inches of rainfall since the beginning of 2021. Consistent small rain events in March and April raised the amount of water present in the soil, and May and June produced above-average rainfall at ten inches. These events generated plenty of runoff to area creeks and gave the aquifer a much-needed recharge, according to the BS/EACD.
For the district to declare drought conditions, either Lovelady Well water levels or Barton Springs flow need to be below their respective drought thresholds. However, to declare a drought stage, both Barton Springs and Lovelady must rise above their respective drought trigger values. This requirement keeps the district from making multiple drought declarations over short periods of time.
Without additional rainfall over the next couple months, the district could return to Stage II Alarm Drought Status.
Kyle is currently in Stage II drought and there is no timeframe for moving into a lesser drought stage. Water consumption is monitored by staff and drought stages are recommended in order to maintain adequate supply within Kyle’s water system. If the rain continues and demand stays down, the recommendations will be made to move into Stage I drought.
The city encourages residents to be aware of who their water provider is and be vigilant in following drought stage requirements. More information on current Kyle water restrictions can be found at https://www.cityofkyle.com/publicworks/current-drought-stage-watering-restrictions.
Effective July 9, Buda lifted Stage I drought restrictions in light of the district’s declaration. However, year-round conservation measures are still in effect. Irrigation with hose-end and automatic sprinkler systems is not allowed between the hours of 10 a.m. and 7 p.m., and residents may water on any day of the week but are encouraged to abide by the twice-per-week watering schedule.
BS/EACD encourages continued conservation through July and August as those months are usually the hottest and driest times of the year. Planting native or drought-tolerant landscapes, mulching and using compost can reduce the amount of irrigation water required to keep plants healthy. Additionally, check that irrigation system is functioning at peak efficiency, replace leaking gaskets and hoses and install a rain barrel or rainwater harvesting system.
For more information on the aquifer’s drought conditions, you can visit the district’s Drought Monitor Blog at http://droughtmonitor.blogspot.