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Recent rain makes insignificant impact on South-Central Texas drought

File image of Lake Travis. (CBS Austin)
File image of Lake Travis. (CBS Austin)
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Despite recent rainfall, drought conditions aren’t expected to improve any time soon in South-Central Texas. Tuesday the Austin Integrated Water Resource Planning Community Task Force met for a regular update on current water supply.

“We did see that October was dryer and warmer than average and we anticipate those dry conditions, while mitigated a little bit by some of the rain we've been receiving, will likely continue,” said Austin Water program manager Marisa Flores Gonzalez.

Water inflows to the Highland Lakes continue being low. As of November 7, the combined storage of Lakes Buchanan and Travis was 52 percent. An LCRA forecast of combined storage through May of 2023 shows a less optimistic outlook.

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“We are continuing to do our planning for continuation of drought and what that means in terms of drought response activities and the conservation side as well as drought response activities for progressively more intense drought stages in the water supply planning side,” Flores Gonzalez told the task force.

Austin Water says forecasts anticipate above average chances for higher-than-normal temperatures over the next few months plus below average rainfall. However, the Highland Lakes are projected to stay above the trigger for Stage 2 drought restrictions. Currently Austin remains in Stage 1 restrictions which largely limit outdoor watering.

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