February 26, 2024

The Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District in Austin, Texas has declared an exceptional drought for the first time in its 36-year history, despite recent rain. The district declared a Stage IV Exception Drought, requiring well owners and water service providers to reduce their use by at least 30%. The Barton Springs area of the Edwards Aquifer is a drinking water source for about 60,000 people between South Austin and Kyle, and has been in Stage III drought conditions since October 2022. The district stated that the only way for groundwater resources to recover and end the drought conditions is a long period of widespread and significant rainfall. They urged community members to actively conserve water resources until this occurs. The declaration of an exceptional drought highlights the severity of the situation and the urgent need for conservation efforts. The recent study also predicts hotter days and more severe weather in the future, emphasizing the importance of water conservation. The community is encouraged to reduce their water usage and actively participate in efforts to conserve water resources. The district’s declaration serves as a call to action for the community to take necessary measures to address and mitigate the impact of the drought in the Austin area.

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