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Severe drought stage declared for Burnet County groundwater

Trinity Aquifer

The Trinity Aquifer, shown here in Burnet County, stretches from the Red River in the north to the eastern boundaries of Medina and Bandera counties. It is the main source of water for Burnet and Bertram. Courtesy image

Burnet County groundwater moved into Stage 3 drought conditions Tuesday, April 19, announced Central Texas Groundwater Conservation District General Manager Mitchell Sodek. 

“Stage 3 is the second highest out of a total of four stages,” Sodek told DailyTrib.com. “In the drought management plan, Stage 3 calls for voluntary conservation of groundwater by 20 percent. We are asking everyone to reduce their outdoor water usage.” 

The drought management plan adopted by the district covers all Burnet County wells and groundwater users, which includes the cities of Burnet and Bertram.

Conservation recommendations include the following: 

  • Only water lawns from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. no more than every five to seven days. 
  • Wash vehicles only at a car wash and only when needed. 
  • Water for dust control only when required by law. 
  • Do not use water to wash sidewalks, driveways, parking areas, streets, tennis courts, or any outdoor surfaces except for human or animal health and safety reasons or fire hazard prevention. 
  • Water livestock in leak-proof troughs if possible.
  • Keep decorative fountains, landscape ponds, and swimming pools covered whenever possible to reduce evaporation. 
  • Reuse and recirculate water whenever possible. 
  • Check for and repair all leaks.

Finally, it is prohibited to provide groundwater to ponds, tanks, lakes, reservoirs, swimming pools, or other surface impoundments that have a total capacity of more than 100,000 gallons. Refilling groundwater impoundments with less than 100,000 gallons is discouraged. 

The Central Texas Groundwater Conservation District is a government entity formed in 2005 to protect Burnet County’s groundwater resources. It has an elected board of five members and a 2021 tax rate of $0.0067 per $100,000 evaluation. 

suzanne@thepicayune.com