Wednesday, February 6, 2019 / by Holly Northup
Last year Austin was in the middle of one of the worst droughts in history and this spring there has been so much rain in and around the Austin area that Lake Travis is above its average water level!
The drought - that began in 2008 - had Lake Travis sitting at only at a level of 630.15 last May, which is much lower than its average level of 670.47. And, as of this week, Lake Travis is now reportedly over 683.
In fact, due to the heavy rainfall in Highland Lakes area over the past two weeks, the LCRA (Lower Colorado River Authority) opened a floodgate at Mansfield Dam for the first time in NINE years!
Due to this floodgate opening, a KXAN news report said that the Austin Fire Department closed Lake Austin from Walsh Landing to Tom Miller Dam as well as Lady Bird Lake from Tom Miller Dam to Red Bud Trail and the ban remains in effect through the duration of gate operations.
However, this great news does not change the fact that we all should do our part in water conservation because there is no doubt Austin will face another drought sooner rather than later and to our knowledge the water restrictions have not been lifted as of yet.
Here are a few suggestions to save water even in the good times:
- Take shorter showers, try for 5 minutes or less.
- Turn off the water while shaving, brushing your teeth, lathering in the shower, and shampooing or conditioning your hair.
- Only use the washing machine for full loads of laundry.
- When washing dishes by hand, don’t leave the water running. Fill one sink or basin with wash water and another with rinse water.
- Wash fruits and vegetables in a bowl or basin using a vegetable brush instead of letting the water run. Then use the wash water to water your plants.
- Don’t use running water to thaw frozen foods. Thaw them overnight in the refrigerator or use the defrost setting on your microwave instead.
- Chill drinking water in the refrigerator instead of running the faucet until the water gets cold.
- Run only full loads in your dishwasher.
- Use one glass for drinking water each day or refill a water bottle to cut down on the number of glasses that need to be washed.
- If you drop ice cubes from the freezer or have cubes left over after finishing your drink, don’t throw them in the sink. Put them in a plant instead.
- Check your water bill to track your water use and keep an eye out for unusually high use that could indicate a leak.
- Fix leaky or running toilets and dripping faucets promptly. Plumbing leaks as a whole account for 14 percent of water consumed in the home, according to a study sponsored by the American Water Works Association.
- Keep a bucket in the shower to catch water while you’re waiting for it to warm up. Use that water later for watering plants, flushing toilets, or running the garbage disposal.
- When you give your pet fresh water or clean out your fish tanks, don’t pour the old water down the drain. Use it to water your plants. Wash pets outdoors in an area of lawn that needs water.
- Adjust your lawn mower to a higher setting. Taller grass encourages growth of deeper root systems and shades the soil to reduce moisture loss.
We encourage you to assist Austin and the surrounding areas conserve as much water as possible no matter how much rainfall we get!!
If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling real estate, please contact Kathleen Bucher at 512.794.6644 or KathleenBucher@mac.com. It would be an honor to earn your business!!