Austin May Run Dry Sooner Than Expected
September 21, 2013
Today’s front page of the Austin American-Statesman ran an article of the resignation of Becky Motal, a 25 year veteran of the NCRA (North Colorado river Authority). She was chief manager of the NCRA since July of 2011. In 2012, the board of directors unanimously voted her a 3 year extension of her $325,000/yr contract. Unfortunately, she did not announce the real reason: all her efforts to promote conservation were blocked politically, and she did not want to be at the helm when Austin runs dry. This is of course speculation on my part.
Looking more closely at the pattern of deception that has continued, in spite of Perry being on the “outs” reveals that the outrageously insipid water levels of our reservoirs has continued. Today’s numbers: the combined total of Travis & Buchanan are reported at 32% full. What makes this outrageous is that Travis is visibly an empty pit, with only a little water behind the dam, which is unusable due to sediment. So that means the entire 640,000 acre feet must be in lake Buchanan. Observers have pointed out that the lake is clearly at its lowest point ever. These bald faced lies have been perpetuated for at least 2 years.
In addition, the inflows into the 2 reservoirs, are running almost as low as the record in 2011, in which the inflows were 10% of normal. Jan-Aug 74,000 acre/ft in 2011 and 98,000 acre/ft in 2013. Given that the published data shows that Travis County’s yearly usage for the past 4 years, has averaged 400,000 acre/ft (note that in these 4 years of severe drought there has been no decrease in any category of usage, most remarkably the watering of grass which makes up a preposterous 25% of our total usage). Thus the general public, businesses nor the government has made any effort to reduce our usage. Apathy? Stupidity? Both. No major media or alternative internet news sources has run a single article stating “Austin is in danger of running dry”, much less “Austin will run dry and an uninformed public will be plunged into a sudden state of anarchy.” Everyone seems totally blind to the obvious. We have very little water in our reservoirs, and our inflows are far exceeded by our usage.