WIMBERLEY, Texas (KXAN) — The longer the drought, the drier our water sources get here in Central Texas.
Officials say water levels are too low to swim in places like Jacob’s Well or Pedernales Falls State Park.
Robin Gary, managing director of the Wimberley Watershed Association calls it the 2011 drought “on steroids.”
“You can walk all the way around Jacob’s Well without getting your feet wet, and that is not normal,” she said, standing in a spot where she’d normally be knee-deep in water.
She said not only the drought, but groundwater pumping has contributed to the stop of spring flow to Jacob’s Well.
“We have many, many more people. And we have a changing climate. So, we’re definitely seeing an impact to the springs and throughout the Hill Country,” Gary said.
It’s not just the recreational area impacted — so is the drinking water.
“The water source for the grand majority of the residents and businesses here, we drink the same water that comes out at Jacob’s Well,” Gary said, explaining Jacob’s Well is part of the Trinity Springs that feed Hill Country rivers.
Gary said Jacob’s Well is a good indicator of overall groundwater conditions in the Hill Country.
Just last week, her nonprofit posted an alert the Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District issued to its users.
“Aquifer and river conditions have not been this poor in the 20+ year history of the District — including the 2011 Drought,” it read.
They added, “Unless conditions improve by the end of July, the District will enter into EMERGENCY DROUGHT STAGE requiring a 40% reduction in use.”
Texas Bulk Water buys water from municipalities and delivers it to customers in that city who aren’t on city water — mostly in Dripping Springs.
“I’m going from one phone call to another to another, and I’m missing my voicemails. So, I’m doing the best I can,” said Jennifer Reid, a class D water operator with Texas Bulk Water.
Reid said they’re receiving up to 60 calls for water per hour and had to hand their Wimberley customers over to another company.
“Wells are going dry, and rainwater tanks are not receiving enough rainwater for people to harvest rain to have water in their houses,” she said.
That also means no more requests for pool fill-ups.
“I have to deliver drinking water. There’s people out there that need water,” Reid said.
She also said with the increase in water demand, they’re starting to see non-licensed water haulers enter the market.
All companies that distribute drinking water have to be approved by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to meet certain safety and cleaning standards.