Travis County and Austin Will Run Dry in 6-12 MonthsMajor Revision December 28, 2013 Everybody in Travis County should be feeling a lot better after heavy rain falls in Austin at the end of October. Wrong. As has been the case all of 2013, the rains fell the wrong place and in the wrong manner. "The result was quote gauged inflows into the Highland Lakes for October were 50,163 acre-feet, which is only about 41% of October's historical average of 122,295 acre-feet". this information comes directly from the official state website, the LCRA (the lower Colorado River Authority), which also lists are total water reserves in lakes Travis and Buchanan which are our only source of water, at 37% full, or 752,190 acre-feet of water. Since like Travis is easily visible to the average citizen, and has been an empty pit for at least 18 months, these numbers are preposterous. Although like you can hose somewhat more water than Lake Travis, for the purposes of evaluating these numbers, and Lake Travis being obviously empty, is one assumes that the government is telling the truth about the amount of water in Lake Buchanan, this cuts the available water in half, or about 376,000 acre feet. Considering that the inflows into the two reservoirs for the first 10 months of 2013 and averaged 13% of normal, which approaches the record shattering 11% of average during the catastrophic year of 2011. Only an indiscriminate fool would believe that an institution who claims that Lake Travis has 260 feet of water, when it is in fact an empty pit, would believe that Lake Buchanan contains the 376,000 acre-feet as claimed. My speculation, considering the outrageousness of the government's blatant lying about Lake Travis, and the marginal inflows this year, that there is perhaps 60% of what is claimed. Thus, 226,000 acre-feet is a reasonable guess. Given that our annual usage is published, and are usage has been edging upward throughout this eight year drought, 400,000 acre-feet per year is a reasonable figure for this calculation. Results in 0.56 years until our water supply is completely depleted. That means in six months Travis County will be without water and power.
There will be no power because the standard device used to generate electricity in this state is the steam turbine and it cannot be operated safely without enormous amounts of water and reserve for cooling. Since our government, led by Rick Perry, has stubbornly postured themselves as being anti-conservation and has issued no warnings of any kind concerning this looming catastrophe, we can expect no warning in the future. This means, since the general public is totally unprepared and no level of government or any non-government organizations have made any plans to deal with this situation, which amounts to sudden unexpected anarchy. The repercussions of sudden anarchy in a population accustomed to a very orderly prosperous life, will result in a mass panic, and a resulting panic migration. Most of the 1.7 million inhabitants of Travis County will attempt to flee. I will not delineate the gruesome details, which are spelled out in an earlier post on my blog. Following are some reprints from various sites that verify the above statements.
|mangled fence with crisp vegetation in background|
Bob Rose, the head meteorologist for the NCRA (North Colorado River Authority)Water that flows into the Highland Lakes is called inflows. In November, there were 19,297 acre-feet of gauged inflows, which is about 28 percent of November's historical average. Inflows have been at or near historical lows for several years during this prolonged drought.
- In 2011, inflows were the lowest in history and only about 10 percent of the annual average;
- In 2012, inflows were the fifth lowest in history at about 32 percent of the annual average; and
- In 2013, through November inflows are about 17 percent of average for the year.
Responding to the droughtBecause of the drought, the LCRA Board took historic action to cut off Highland Lakes water to most downstream farmers in 2012 and 2013 and may do so again in 2014. These are the only times farmers have been cut off since the Texas Legislature created LCRA in 1934.
LCRA also is aggressively pursuing new water supplies. It is working on a project to drill wells on property it owns in Bastrop County, and building a new reservoir downstream of Austin in Wharton County that should be completed by 2017.
Comment: "Aggressivly pursuing" is nothing but a political statement. These actions should have been taken years ago, at least by 2011, the hottest and dryist on record. But a hard look at the facts, indicate that that Travis County will by bone dry between 6-12 months, depending on which set of lies about the current supply. This "aggressive" means way to little, way too late. Why, Perry and his party wanted no action to indicate that we have a "water problem" because it would slow the frantic movement of people to the Austin area. In 2011 >26,000 people moved into the county.
For 7 months in the winter of 2011-2012 Austin had average rainfall, but the lake reserves went DOWN, undeniable evidence the we have simply outgrown what nature normally gives us. So, during a drought we are sucking water out of our only water source like morons, because no one has paid any serious attention to the situation. The underlying reason: we are too busy working and watching television. Television watching has been proven by rigorous cutting edge science, to have a "heroin like addictive effect", as predicted by one man Marshall McCluhan in 1960. Television also causes us to stop paying attention to our politicians have been doing for 30 years has allowed a small faction of right wing extremist Churches to gain complete control of every aspect of the government. Perry's last election was won by garnering 17% of the registered voters votes. The majority, much more moderate, stayed home on election day and watched TV. We moderate Texans are going to pay a tremendous price: the destruction of our capitol city. No water means no power. Who wants to live in a "city" without water or power??? Anarchy will suddenly erupt when the 1.7 million inhabitants suddenly and without warning have no water or power and every manner of business except hospitals will be shut down. No jobs, no gas (electricity is required to pump gas), no place to buy anything, including water and food. A panicked mass migration will occur, and this will be a very dangerous situation. Austin has made no preparations of any kind for this anarchy and the panicked migration that will follow. There are not even plans to make plans by any government agency or NGO (non-government organization). In fact it is too late to even execute a plan for an orderly migration, even if there was a plan already in place. *
|parched grasses with fence line in background Sabattier effect|
2014 Long-Range Weather Forecast for Austin, TexasBuy Long-Range Weather(Nov. 2013 - Oct. 2014)Complete 2014 Long-Range Weather Forecast for the Texas-Oklahoma Region, November 2013 to October 2014 includes week-by-week details.
Digital Download $4.95 Free 2-Month Weather ForecastDECEMBER 2013: temperature 51.5° (1° below avg. north, 4° above south); precipitation 1.5" (1" below avg.); Dec 1-4: Sunny, turning warm; Dec 5-8: Showers, then sunny, cool; Dec 9-14: Rainy periods, warm; Dec 15-19: Sunny; cool, then warm; Dec 20-25: Snow north, rain south, then sunny, cold; .
JANUARY 2014: temperature 56° (7° above avg.); precipitation 1" (1" below avg.); Jan 1-7: Sunny; cold, then mild; Jan 8-15: Rain, then sunny, warm; Jan 16-18: Showers, then sunny, cool; Jan 19-26: Occasional rain; warm, then cool; Jan 27-31: Sunny, turning warm.
Annual Weather Summary: November 2013 to October 2014
Winter temperatures will be slightly colder than normal, on average, with precipitation and snowfall a bit above normal in Oklahoma and north of The Metroplex. Elsewhere across Texas, temperatures will be above normal, with below-normal rainfall and snowfall. The coldest periods will be in mid- to late December, early January, and early to mid-February, while the snowiest periods across the north will occur in mid- to late December and mid-February.
April and May will be slightly warmer and rainier than normal, on average.
Summer will be hotter and slightly drier than normal, with pockets of major drought likely. The hottest periods will be in early July, mid- to late July, and early to mid-August. Hurricanes should stay east and south of Texas.
September and October will be drier than normal, with temperatures above normal in Texas and below normal in Oklahoma.
Temperature and Precipitation November 2013 to October 2014
See Long-Range Weather Forecasts for major cities in Texas.
Texas Drought Forecast to Continue, Perhaps For Years
BY HOLLY HEINRICH PHOTO BY REUTERS/CALLE RICHMOND /LANDOV
view of the dry bed of the E.V. Spence Reservoir in Robert Lee, Texas October 28, 2011.
Recent rains have brought some relief to some parts of Texas afflicted by drought, especially around Central Texas: reservoir levels are a little higher, and the moisture has greened vegetation that was previously tinderbox-dry, potentially reducing the risk of wildfires this summer.
Now for some bad news: national meteorologists expect the drought to continue or worsen through late summer and early fall in Texas, and ocean patterns are troublingly similar to those during the “drought of record” in the 1950s.
Today, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its latest drought forecast. It predicts the drought will persist or intensify in most of Texas from July through October. But there is one exception — in Far West Texas, August and September rains are expected to bring some relief to an area from Midland to El Paso, according to NOAA meteorologist Victor Murphy.
Is there reason to believe that the drought will continue well beyond the fall? The forecasts are not out yet, but ocean conditions indicate that continued drought is a possibility.
“The way decadal circulation patterns are setting up, the Atlantic Ocean is warmer than normal, and there’s circulation on the Pacific Ocean, which has gone cooler than normal,” Murphy says. “When those two match up—they should be in sync the next five years or so—those are the conditions that existed back in the 1950s. There’s a distinct possibility, I’m not saying it’s a probability, but there’s a possibility this [drought] could extend for another couple of years.”
Statewide, reservoir levels are at about 64 percent of their full capacity—the lowest levels at this time of year since 1990, according to Murphy. Reservoir levels are about 10 percentage points lower now than they were last summer. Evaporation could further reduce lake and reservoir levels if fall temperatures are higher than average, as they are predicted to be.What can Texans do to adapt to the drought? Murphy said that using less water will be essential.
“There really is a lot of stress due to evaporation on area lakes,” Murphy said. “The amount of water that’s lost on area reservoirs and lakes due to evaporation is very significant. As we see these warmer-than-normal temperatures going forward, that should continue to be a significant stress on surface reservoirs.”
In response to the devastating drought in the 1950s, water planners doubled the number of reservoirs in Texas. Now, some Texas cities, water districts, and companies are considering the construction of new reservoirs. And voters will have the chance to vote on setting aside more money for water projects this fall. But in arid parts of the state, Murphy said, reservoirs may lose more water than they collect—raising questions about whether new reservoir construction is sensible policy.
“Is it good public policy to build these large surface reservoirs, especially in the Central and Western parts of the state, where so much of the water is lost due to evaporation? And you don’t really get that much recharge because the yearly rainfall is not that high?” Murphy asked. “Basically, it’s a negative curve. The amount of water you lose due to evaporation is greater than the amount of water that comes in due to replenishment.”
Of historical interest, the vast number of reservoirs built in Texas were intended for use as flood control. The concept of these reservoirs as water storage for giant cities was never in the minds of the deft planners, as there was no such thing as a "big city" in Texas. Big cities in those days were NYC, LA, and Chicago. NO ONE even imagined that Texas would ever have a big city. Today Texas has three in the top ten largest, and they are growing at a rapid rate. The reservoirs which have served the state well, were "pork" from the period when Sam Rayburn (a class act in every way) was Speaker of the House for thirty years sandwiched around WWII. When LBJ became Majority Leader in the Senate, the two men, consummate politicians (Rayburn the master negotiator, and Johnson the master of twisting arms and calling in favors) obtained any pork they wanted. Such "pork power" has never been surpassed.
The following is from tha NCRA:
October storms produce only modest increases to the water supply in lakes Travis and Buchanan
With the severe drought continuing, the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) has asked the state for permission to cut off Highland Lakes water to most downstream farmers in 2014 if the combined storage of lakes Travis and Buchanan is below 1.1 million acre-feet, or 55 percent of capacity, at 11:59 p.m. on March 1, 2014. In mid-December, combined storage was about 752,000 acre-feet or 37 percent of capacity.
LCRA's Board of Directors approved the emergency drought relief request Nov. 19 and LCRA sent the request to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Dec. 10, 2013. TCEQ is expected to address the issue in early 2014.
If LCRA cuts off Highland Lakes water to farmers in 2014, if would be the third year in a row, and only the third time in LCRA's history, that has occurred. The Board also decided LCRA will require firm customers to limit homeowners and businesses to watering a maximum of once a week if combined storage is less than 1.1 million acre-feet on March 1 and most famers are cut off. Firm customers include cities in Central Texas that depend on water from the Highland Lakes. Read more.
The decisions to potentially cut off farmers and limit watering are in response to the historic drought gripping parts of Central Texas. Storms that dumped heavy rains on Austin in October did little to help the water supply of the Highland Lakes. That's because water that falls in the Austin area runs off into Lake Austin, Lady Bird Lake or the Colorado River downstream of the Highland Lakes. That water cannot be captured in lakes Travis and Buchanan, the Highland Lakes reservoirs, and flows down the Colorado River toward Matagorda Bay.
October storms added about 50,000 acre-feet to lakes Travis and Buchanan. The combined storage of the region's major reservoirs is at only 37 percent of capacity and the area near the lakes remains in a serious drought.
In order for water to fill the Highland Lakes, it must fall in or above the lakes in the lakes' watershed, an area upstream of Austin stretching north past San Saba and west past Fredericksburg and Junction. The region needs not just rain, but rain in the right spot, to significantly increase the region's water supply.
LCRA is building a reservoir in Wharton County near the Gulf Coast to take advantage of rain events like those in October. The reservoir will allow LCRA to capture flows that enter the Colorado River downstream of Lake Travis and hold them for later use. The new reservoir is expected to be complete by 2017.
Gauged inflows into the Highland Lakes for October were 50,163 acre-feet, which is about 41 percent of October's historical average of 122,295 acre-feet.
Lakes Travis and Buchanan provide water for more than a million Central Texans, as well as businesses, industries and the environment throughout the lower Colorado River basin. Only inflows produced by rain, or rain falling directly on the lakes, can fill the lakes. Inflows from the region's rivers and creeks have been at or near record-low levels during this prolonged drought.
Weather forecasts call for rainfall to be near normal to slightly above normal through February, but there is not near enough rain predicted to break the severe, prolonged drought. Late fall and early winter temperatures are forecast to average between 1 and 2 degrees above normal.
Responding to the drought
Because of the drought, the LCRA Board has taken historic action to cut off Highland Lakes water to most downstream farmers in 2012 and 2013 and may do so again in 2014. These are the only times farmers have been cut off since the Texas Legislature created LCRA in 1934.
LCRA is aggressively pursuing new water supplies. It is working on a project to drill wells on property it owns in Bastrop County, and building a new reservoir downstream of Austin in Wharton County that should be completed by 2017.
In summary, the above update deeply discounts the severity of the situation, and the plan (a new reservoir by 2017) far to little far too late. Since we will already by dry in 6 mos if you have a healthy skepticism for the governments posted numbers, or one year at the most if you believe the government's posted numbers are correct. The above comprehensive plan clearly demonstrates that our government is so far behind the curve that it is totally ineffective. As my mother,whose family was endowed with at least tenth generations of common sense wisdom would say"It's closing the gate after the cows have gotten out."
Notice that there is no mention of even the possibility that Austin might run dry, and therefore there are no alternative plans if such an event were to occur. To have only one year of water to supply a booming population of 1.7 million people, should be critical enough to raise an alarm not only in government agencies charged with the responsibility of supplying our water, but the general public as well. In addition, there has been not a single article or editorial in any of the major media nor the alternative media available on the Internet, That even mentions the words "Austin may run out of water." It is as if these words, as fervently true as they are, are taboo in not only Texas but the nation as a whole. This clearly reveals the level of fear that dominates in a repressive manner not only are freedom of speech, but also our lack of courage when faced with a major life threatening event involving many thousands of people. Admittedly, this is a terrifying scenario, but when we allow our fear to paralyze us from warning others of the danger, we enter an atmosphere of helplessness and hopelessness, which have never been characteristic of the American people. I have well-developed ideas on why this has occurred which are also available on my blog.
At this point, seems that the best possible outcome, considering that the catastrophe is avoidable, is that other American cities can learn from the plethora of mistakes that occurred in Texas that made this situation possible.
|ripped up prairie as expansion of the Austin greater area is still being developed as fast as possible|
One more chilling statistic from NCRA:
January through November average inflows in acre feet: 1,162.000
2011 112,000 2012 386,000 2013 198,000 Using 8th grade algebra: 1,162,000 /11 months = 105,600 acre feet/month----this means that two of the last three years has OUR YEARLY TOTAL barely surpassed our MONTHLY average. And with not a single meteorologist or climatologist in the world predicting a change in the pattern in the last eight years, the outlook is bleak for these pathetic monthly totals to improve with any significance.
|parched vegitation in foreground, tree line of struggling trees in background---solarization|
* Note: This essay includes many new concepts that will be unfamiliar to most readers. Many topics such as the work of Marshall McCluhan, have entire essays devoted just to his work. These essays can be found at my website: www.biologybehaviorchaos.blogspot.com This was done to make this essay more than just an update on the reservoir capacity and climate, but to enlarge the range of the dialogue to include politics that lie behind how the situation has become so acute, and the results of "running dry". The intent is to explain the results of this taboo phrase "running dry" (which has not even been mentioned in any article including the alternative media on the net), social anarchy, and the subsequent rapid and perilous migration from Austin and Travis County. This unanticipated event will involve thousands of deaths and the destruction of many lives.
Morris Creedon-McVean, D.O.
|dried up creek bed after eight years of severe drought|