Water Resources of the United States


Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2012 11:14:30 EDT

Summary: September 17, 2012 Drought Update for Texas

Nearly all of Texas received much needed rain this last weekend. Rainfall amounts varied from less than 1 inch to more than 5 inches in localized places. Despite the rainfall, drought conditions are a likely to persist. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor (09/22/2012), 77.1% of Texas remains in drought conditions; 10.6% is abnormally dry, 17.5% is moderate, 19.7% is severe, 20.4% is extreme, and 8.9% is exceptional. Southeast Texas is not in drought, and both north and south Texas have areas of exceptional drought.

Based on USGS and other streamflow and reservoir storage data, Texas Water Development Board has developed a Reservoir Storage Index and Streamflow Index for each of 10 climatic regions of Texas. On 9/15/2012, 6 of the regions are in drought with respect to reservoir storage indices and with respect to streamflow indices.

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (09/12/2012) reports that 1025 of 4692 active Community Water systems are affected by drought conditions; 389 have implemented voluntary restrictions and 636 have implemented mandatory restrictions. These systems are located throughout the state.

Hydrologic Conditions: According to USGS WaterWatch, of 435 real-time stations where flow is measured, 132 have zero flow and another 68 stations have flows of less than 1 cfs. Many stations in TX have very low to no flows during summer months or in west TX; however, a number of these stations are affected by the current drought. According to the drought table, there are 4 stations with more than 30 years of record (45 -75 yrs) that have new record low flows for 7-day average flow conditions. An additional 4 sites with 3 to 20 years of record have record low flows for 7-day average flow conditions. These sites are located throughout TX.

Stream and Reservoir Gauges: In order to reach low water levels, a temporary gauge was installed at Lake J.B. Thomas (08118000).

Groundwater Levels: Routine measurements are being made.

Water Quality: Routine measurements are being made.

Special Projects: Surface-water Specialist report on 2011 drought is in review.

Communication and Outreach: None.

Sub-Region: Central South; Region: Central United States

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