• EDWARDS STATUS
  • TRINITY STATUS
  • TEXAS DROUGHT MONITOR

Drought Concerns in Bell County

Clearwater UWCD is concerned about the deteriorate conditions of the Trinity and Edwards Aquifers in Bell County due to the drought.

Texas DroughtWe have been monitoring both the Trinity and Edwards BFZ Aquifers for more than six years and have great concern that the epic drought conditions have not subsided and conditions could possible get worse in the months to come. We measure the health of the Edwards Aquifer in three different ways and with two of those being triggers for drought awareness. The first trigger is rainfall measurement based on a 365 day running total. The second being the spring flow measurements at the complex of springs in downtown Salado that contribute to the Salado Creek as they diffuse water from the aquifer into the creek. We also monitor more than seven wells and have fourteen wells at our disposal to measure static water levels and drawdown.

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Survey Reveals Texans’ Concerns About Water Issues

A recent survey of Texas citizens revealed that, contrary to some earlier predictions, Texans are very interested in, and concerned about, the quality and quantity of water in the Lone Star State. Respondents report being concerned about the increasing number and severity of droughts in Texas and about the availability of enough water to serve all the State’s water needs.

The survey was led by Dr. Arnold Vedlitz, director of the Institute for Science, Technology and Public Policy (ISTPP) in the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. The project and survey instrument were designed by him and other researchers at ISTPP.  The research effort was supported by the Texas Sea Grant Program, the Texas A&M vice president for research, and ISTPP in the Bush School.  The survey was conducted by the respected online polling company, GfK in February and March of this year, so the results are scientifically sound and up to date.

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In Texas, Underground Reservoirs Take Hold

Texas summers are so hot that in many West Texas reservoirs, more water evaporates than gets used by people. In 2011, more water evaporated out of Lakes Travis and Buchanan in Central Texas than was used by their largest city customer, Austin.

So what about storing water underground — in manmade reservoirs?

More Texas communities are exploring the idea, which has found traction in states like Florida and California, and Texas lawmakers have introduced legislation to help it along. The basic concept of the technology — which is awkwardly named aquifer storage and recovery, or ASR — is to inject water into an aquifer for storage, hundreds of feet down, and pump it back up when it is needed. Proponents say that the technology reduces evaporation, is cheaper and faster to build than surface reservoirs, and avoids some of the issues associated with flooding land.

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