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Water supply continues to dwindle

Over the weekend, Austin’s water supply dropped another 5,000 acre-feet.  All of the supply provided by July rainfall has been used up or has evaporated, and our effective remaining supply is 680,000 acre-feet.  Evaporation rates are above average, inflows are at historic lows, and rain predictions are noncommittal (with good reason).  Without significant rainfall above […]

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Why using Austin’s water supply for rice farming should be off the table – permanently

In May of 2010, Lake Travis was 100% full.  38 months later it is at 36%. And during one-half of that time period, we have been operating under emergency orders prohibiting agricultural releases.  This shows clearly why we have to stop using Austin’s water supply to grow rice downstream – forever.  Even when the lakes […]

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Update on water supply – scary numbers you won’t see anywhere else

Based on numbers from LCRA, the total non-agricultural water use + evaporation in 2012 was 529,137 (just barely lower than the 540,000 acre-feet in 2011). Evaporation was lower (due to the relatively less severe weather in 2012), municipal use was down only slightly (probably because of less lawn watering – again weather related) but non-agricultural […]

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Solve our water supply problem? Yes We Can – San Diego has already done it – why not Austin?

San Diego has already taken a huge step toward solving their water supply problem; construction is already underway on a seawater desalination plant that will be operational in 2016.  Despite all those naysayers who refuse to educate themselves on the cost of water and who claim desalination is just too darn expensive, San Diego has […]

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Affordability in Austin

For my July 2013 newsletter, including an article on affordability in Austin, just click here.

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