Tag Archive | "drought"

On April 13, Gov. Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration for Burnet, Travis, and Williamson counties due to drought conditions. Before a brush or wildfire strikes, fire officials urge people to take an assessment of their property and create a ‘defensible space’ around their home and buildings. In March, the Texas A&M Forest Service, Marble Falls Fire Rescue, and Marble Falls Area Volunteer Fire Department created a ‘model’ defensible space at the Marble Falls High School, 2101 Mustang Drive. Go to texasforestservice.tamu.edu or firewise.org for more information on how to protect homes and structures. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

Texas governor issues disaster declaration in Burnet County due to drought

FROM STAFF REPORTS AUSTIN — A combination of high winds and lack of rain prompted Gov. Greg Abbott to issue a disaster declaration for Burnet, Travis, and Williamson counties. “These drought conditions pose an imminent threat to public health, property, and the economy,” stated a media release from the governor’s office. He issued the declaration […]

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A view of Lake LBJ in Kingsland.

‘Water 101’ and how to conserve precious Highland Lakes resource

STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO KINGSLAND — To Charlie Flatten, there’s never a bad time to talk about conserving water, especially in the Highland Lakes. The Hill Country Alliance water policy program manager will present “Water 101: Water Conservation in the Texas Hill Country” at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8, at the Kingsland Branch Library, 125 […]

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Hot and dry conditions heighten fire danger this July 4 holiday

Hot and dry conditions heighten fire danger this July 4 holiday

STAFF WRITER CONNIE SWINNEY BURNET —As Highland Lakes residents experience more days with triple-digit temperatures, fire officials have sent out a warning to Independence Day revelers about the potential fire danger. (more…)

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Spicewood family’s conservation efforts restore ranch’s productivity

Spicewood family’s conservation efforts restore ranch’s productivity

MELISSA BLAIR • SPECIAL TO DAILYTRIB.COM SPICEWOOD — Becky Sultemeier and her husband, Shelby, run a Red Brangus cattle operation on their 1,100-acre property that straddles the Travis-Blanco county line near Spicewood. The property has been in the family since the 1930s and originally belonged to Becky’s grandparents, Coke and Helen Hollingsworth, and father, Archie Hollingsworth. […]

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The annual stocking of Lake Buchanan with hybrid striped bass fry was carried out March 21 by the Lake Buchanan Conservation Corp. Shown introducing the fish into the lake is LBCC member and fishing guide, Max Milam, of Ken Milam Fishing Guide Service. This year’s stocking consisted of 1 million of the fry and brings the total number stocked into the lake by the LBCC over the past 10 years to more than 9 million. Visiting anglers are harvesting large numbers of keeper-size hybrids with new lake records being established and re-established within short periods of time. Courtesy photo

Lake Buchanan has healthy resurgence; state of the lake is June 21

DANIEL CLIFTON • EDITOR BUCHANAN DAM — Lake Buchanan has experienced the spectrum of ups and downs the past several years, going from historic low inflows to four open floodgates recently, leaving people wondering, “How is Lake Buchanan doing?” (more…)

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State of the lake: Now full, Buchanan sees fish and habitat changes

State of the lake: Now full, Buchanan sees fish and habitat changes

DANIEL CLIFTON • EDITOR UPDATE: The State of the Lake program scheduled for May 17 has been postponed due to possible severe weather. It has been rescheduled for June 21. Go to www.lakebuchanancc.org for more information.   BUCHANAN DAM — A little wind made the difference in whether Lake Buchanan’s white bass population survived the […]

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After two years, Burnet lifts mandatory watering restrictions

FROM STAFF REPORTS BURNET — After almost two years of mandatory water restrictions, city of Burnet residents can relax a bit. On Aug. 12, the city moved to Stage 1 restrictions, which call for voluntary measures. City officials are asking residents to still conserve water. Though late spring and early summer rains helped bring up […]

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lake buchanan

As Lake Buchanan rises, some leery of releasing water downstream

CONNIE SWINNEY • STAFF WRITER BUCHANAN DAM — Domestic water use advocates caution that the drought remains a threat to water supplies as the peak of summer approaches, even though recent rains have boosted Lake Buchanan levels by nearly 20 feet in the past several weeks. (more…)

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UPDATE: TCEQ upholds order to withhold downstream water releases from Highland Lakes

CONNIE SWINNEY • STAFF WRITER UPDATE: The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality upheld an emergency order July 1 to withhold water releases from the Highland Lakes reservoirs to rice farmers downstream. PREVIOUS STORY BURNET — Interests along the upper and lower Colorado River basins are getting ready to go head to head after an emergency […]

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Horseshoe Bay

Horseshoe Bay conserves with drought-tolerant gardens, audits

CONNIE SWINNEY • STAFF WRITER HORSESHOE BAY — Persistent drought has prompted a comprehensive water conservation campaign by the city of Horseshoe Bay that includes irrigation audits with potential fines, drought-tolerant demonstration gardens and a shift in perception about landscaping needs. (more…)

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max starcke dam

LCRA: Drought hangs on despite rising Highland Lakes levels

CONNIE SWINNEY • STAFF WRITER SPICEWOOD — The history of dry spells and floods in the Highland Lakes can offer clues about whether recent flooding has eased the grip of the drought, officials say. (more…)

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Llano city officials wrangle over a possible well project as the drought takes a toll on the Llano River, the sole water source for the community. File photo

Llano water well dispute derails drilling project

CONNIE SWINNEY • PICAYUNE STAFF LLANO — Bryan Miiller remembers a time when homes along the Llano River were few and far between. “I grew up west of Llano between Llano and Mason. There used to be very few houses along the river. That’s been 40 years ago,” said Miiller, who is a Llano city […]

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A Lake Buchanan boat ramp is unusable because of the current drought and its effect on lake levels. The combined storage for lakes Buchanan and Travis, the two main water reservoirs for the Highland Lakes, is about 36 percent full, or 716,000 acre-feet of water. File photo

LCRA, water group contest upstream dam application

CONNIE SWINNEY • PICAYUNE STAFF GOLDTHWAITE — Several years of strain on water resources caused by the drought has prompted Goldthwaite city officials to back a proposal by a private landowner for a small on-channel dam on the Colorado River in Mills County. (more…)

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Spicewood Beach on Lake Travis is one of the communities in eastern Burnet County downstream from Lake Marble Falls suffering from dwindling water levels. The Lower Colorado River Authority has announced the conditions along the Colorado River are fast approaching a drought worse than the drought of record  from 1947-57 because of scant inflows and lack of rain. File photo

Low lake levels raise concern over Marble Falls development

CONNIE SWINNEY • PICAYUNE STAFF MARBLE FALLS —  As Marble Falls annexes several hundred acres south of the city for proposed private development, residents on Lake Travis are calling for a halt to new water contracts because of record drought conditions and dwindling lake levels along the Colorado River. (more…)

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Lake Buchanan is seen in the distance from a boat ramp that was closed due to drought conditions. Staff photo by Jared Fields

As 2015 starts, Highland Lakes falls toward all-time drought declaration

DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR MARBLE FALLS — Despite a moderate amount of rainfall in 2014, the two storage reservoirs of the Highland Lakes chain didn’t experience much of an increase in water levels. In fact, as of Jan. 14, lakes Buchanan and Travis held 34 percent of their normal storage amounts. (more…)

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An area just east of the Texas 16 bridge over Town Lake in Llano demonstrates the lack of inflows from the river. The depth of Town Lake currently averages from 3-5 feet because of drought conditions. City officials launched a dredging project to ease the toll on the municipal water system and aquatic habitat. Staff photo by Jared Fields

Llano battles algae and low water levels with dredging of Town Lake

CONNIE SWINNEY • PICAYUNE STAFF LLANO — For several decades, Terry Jackson has watched the ebb and flow of Town Lake on the Llano River. But this year, dwindling water levels have reached even more damaging depths — not only for fish habitat but for the municipal water system. (more…)

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LCRA puts pressure on those with illegal ‘straws’ in water

FROM STAFF REPORTS AUSTIN — The Lower Colorado River Authority is stepping up enforcement against people without a contract who take water from the lakes and lower Colorado River via “straws,” but officials are giving a few days’ warning before really cracking down. (more…)

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Colorado River advocacy groups squaring off in water fight

CONNIE SWINNEY • PICAYUNE STAFF AUSTIN — As drought conditions continue, the battle over water from the Colorado River heats up between advocacy groups fighting to get their messages across to state agencies with the power to halt supplies. (more…)

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Drought worse than recession for Burnet County taxpayers

FROM STAFF REPORTS BURNET — While the majority of Burnet County residents don’t own lakefront property on lakes Buchanan and Travis, the woes of those who do could spill over to others when it comes to the impending county tax rate. “This drought is worse than what a recession was to Burnet County,” said Burnet […]

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Cities expected to pass LCRA water-rate hike to customers

FROM STAFF REPORTS MARBLE FALLS — The Lower Colorado River Authority approved a one-year rate hike for firm water customers during the LCRA Board meeting June 16, adjusting for historic low lake levels, drought conditions, maintenance and service costs. Water officials in the Highland Lakes say residents of those municipalities affected by the LCRA decision […]

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Rainfall over Highland Lakes provides temporary relief from drought, raises reservoirs

CONNIE SWINNEY • PICAYUNE STAFF LLANO — Watching runoff from rain pour over structures such as the Llano River Dam on Memorial Day provided some relief from the drought; however, unless the wet weather trend continues, the rise could become short-lived, officials say. “It’s coming over (the Llano River Dam); a tremendous amount of water […]

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TCEQ approves emergency drought order for Highland Lakes with no trigger point

DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR AUSTIN — Texas Commission on Environmental Quality commissioners left Highland Lakes officials scratching their heads Feb. 26 after approving an emergency drought relief order but striking the trigger point portion of the request. “I was just stunned that they went without a trigger point,” said Jo Karr Tedder of the […]

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Judges side with Highland Lakes over downstream customers in water fight

DANIEL CLIFTON AND CONNIE SWINNEY • PICAYUNE STAFF AUSTIN — Two administrative law judges upped the ante when it comes to how much water must be in lakes Buchanan and Travis before the Lower Colorado River Authority can release it for downstream irrigation and rice farming purposes under a proposed emergency drought relief order. On […]

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TCEQ sends LCRA emergency drought relief request to judge

FROM STAFF REPORTS AUSTIN — Some Lower Colorado River Authority irrigation customers, including rice farmers, have challenged the authority’s emergency drought relief request, forcing the issue to go before an administrative judge in February. On Feb. 12, LCRA officials asked the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to approve emergency drought relief for a third straight […]

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Highland Lakes officials urge residents to take stand on water-level triggers

FROM STAFF REPORTS BURNET — County officials are asking Highland Lakes residents to write or email Texas Commission on Environmental Quality leaders to request they raise the water-level triggers that would curtail downstream releases from the Highland Lakes. Burnet County Judge Donna Klaeger is asking residents to send emails to Richard Hyde and Lori Wilson […]

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Progress made on water plant for drought-stricken Spicewood Beach

CONNIE SWINNEY • PICAYUNE STAFF SPICEWOOD — Heavy equipment rolled into Spicewood Beach Village on Dec. 12 to unload water plant components, launching the installation of a new system to serve communities in eastern Burnet County, officials said. Crews are scheduled to pour the foundation for the facility delivered to the old plant on Linda […]

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