Water restrictions go back in place for aquifer users

BUDA, Texas (KXAN) — Water restrictions are back in place as the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District (BSEACD) declares Stage 2 Alarm Drought. They’re asking their users to reduce pumping by 20 percent.

Central Texas measures drought in several ways, eying Highland Lake levels, the U.S. Drought Monitor and the Edwards Aquifer levels.

The Highland Lakes remain well below normal elevations. The U.S. Drought Monitor depicts moderate to extreme drought across the area. But, water levels underground kept the Edwards Aquifer out of drought until Thursday.

BSEACD manages the aquifer and supplies water to users in southern Travis and Hays counties. Brian Smith with the district says it was only out of drought for four months.

“We like to see a year or two or more between droughts but it seems like we’re seeing more droughts, more frequently, more intensely,” he said.

The City of Buda gets some of their water from the Edwards Aquifer. Yellow signs went up Friday telling residents about Stage 1 water restrictions. Residents can only water twice a week on designated days and between certain times.

“I don’t have a sprinkler system so on my days I’ll come out and water mainly just the trees and the plants, and just do the best I can with the grass,” said Marcus Martinez, a Buda resident.

Smith warns it’ll take a lot of rain to get water flowing through the creeks to recharge the aquifer.

“We need really wet conditions to sustain the flow from the good rains,” said Smith.

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