AUSTIN (KXAN) — There are two big weather stories going on at this time. One is the continued onslaught of highs reaching 100° and higher. Austin will have set a record for consecutive days of a triple-digit high by Friday, August 5.
But depending on who you talk to the bigger story is the eventuality that by the middle of August the LCRA will move from Stage 1 of its drought contingency plan to Stage 2.
The combined storage of Lakes Buchanan and Travis is forecast to fall below 900,000 acre-feet, or about 45% of capacity by mid-month. As this article is being written (Wednesday, August 2), the combined storage is 930,096 acre-feet, or about 48% full.
An acre-foot is 326,000 gallons of water. Think of a football field one foot deep and that will tell you what an acre-foot of water is.
John Hofmann is the Executive Vice-President of Water for the Lower Colorado River Authority. He says that the water supply is stressed but still in decent shape. But he says water conservation is being requested in an attempt to slow down the consumption of water.
He adds that “everything we do now will help prolong and protect our water supply.”
The LCRA is asking its firm customers (industries, municipalities, water districts) to reduce water use by 5%. But, it’s also asking you to do your part in this conservation effort.
So, what can YOU do? Lawn watering should only be done two times a week before 10 a.m. or after 7 p.m. Doing it at these times helps reduce evaporation. In other words, stay away from watering outside these times.
Check out sprinkler heads to make sure that are watering efficiently; that they are watering the grass and that no water is getting to the pavement. Those are our easy fixes.
Water loss is also preventable by adding mulch to landscapes.
The LCRA is also suggesting covering your swimming pool when it’s not being used.
You can always see the lake levels of the Highland Lakes by clicking on the Lake Levels tab in the weather section of KXAN.com.