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  • Drought Update

    Wednesday, February 6, 2019   /   by Holly Northup

    Drought Update

    Earlier this week we posted the LCRA (Lower Colorado River Authority) drought update from the first of May on our social media websites.  However, we thought it would be helpful to summarize the report and find out what Austin residents can do to conserve water as we draw closer to Austin’s hottest months.

    The LCRA report indicated that even with the current rainfall (today's rain not included), the Highland Lake System remains well below average and that we have not recovered – nor will we anytime soon – from the record-breaking drought that began in 2008.

    This is apparent by the fact that we have had lots of rain in the past few months and Lake Travis is reportedly only at a level of 630.15 which is still much lower than its average level of 670.47.

    Additionally, preliminary reports signify that the drought will not only continue, but will end up being in the most severe drought that our area has experienced since construction of the dams that created the Highland Lakes back in the 1930s.

    Not the news we wanted to hear.  However, we each can do something to help conserve water and improve the drought situation we find ourselves in.

    Depending on the town you live in determines what stage of water restrictions you are currently in.  However, as the summer nears and the heat rises, there are several things we can all do to help conserve our most important resource besides just watering our lawns less.

    The www.austintexas.org website has many great ideas for using less water.  Here are just a few!

    1. Take shorter showers, try for 5 minutes or less.

    2. Turn off the water while shaving, brushing your teeth, lathering in the shower, and shampooing or conditioning your hair.

    3. Only use the washing machine for full loads of laundry.

    4. When washing dishes by hand, don’t leave the water running. Fill one sink or basin with wash water and another with rinse water.

    5. 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.

    6. Don’t use running water to thaw frozen foods.  Thaw them overnight in the refrigerator or use the defrost setting on your microwave instead.

    7. Chill drinking water in the refrigerator instead of running the faucet until the water gets cold.

    8. Run only full loads in your dishwasher.

    9. 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.

    10. 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.

    11. Check your water bill to track your water use and keep an eye out for unusually high use that could indicate a leak.

    12. 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.

    13. 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.

    14. 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.

    15. 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!!

    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!!