The amount of stored water in Lake Buchanan and Lake Travis — which supply the vast majority of water to Travis County and the City of Austin — continues to decline, and is now less than 42% of capacity. Here’s a snapshot from today’s Daily River Report from the LCRA:
That graphic lost some resolution being moved to this site, but the Total Combined Storage is now 843,101 acre-feet. We used 880,000 acre-feet in 2011. There are typically minimal inflows that should stretch this supply to 21 or 22 months, but we just completed the driest November since 1897!
It is encouraging that funding mechanisms for water infrastructure and the Texas State Water Plan are getting attention in preparation for the legislative session than opens in January. One prominent leader proposes what sounds like a very sensible use of dollars that are already in-hand:
Dewhurst puts Rainy Day Fund on the table for “water infrastructure development bank”
That proposal includes far more money than initial funding of the Water Plan calls for, and the total investment will undoubtedly be debated. But water issues in Texas pose a serious threat to near-term and long-term growth and prosperity in the state. This is the proverbial “rainy day” the fund was designed for.