This Texas City is in Fear of Running Out of Water in Future
Due to a severe drought, a small city in Texas west of Austin still has strict water limits in place. For days, water conservation rules were at the highest level of emergency. On Monday, officials said that the rules have only been slightly loosened, and that water use will be limited to “indoor use only” until further notice.
The latest problem with water conservation in Blanco has been going on since at least mid-June, when the mayor said that the “city’s water supply is vulnerable.” People in charge said that Blanco’s water plant wasn’t running at the time, but they also said that a nearby river was “too low for us to take water out of it.”
It says that the Texas Water Company gets drinking water from the Canyon Lake Reservoir, which is where the city gets its water. The water level in Canyon Lake has been going down for months. A map from the Texas Water Development Board shows that it’s just under 73% full as of Tuesday. Over the past six months, the reservoir’s stock has dropped by more than 23,300 acre-feet.
In the past month, the mayor’s office said, “Canyon Lake is dropping, and the long pipeline is weak.” “We MUST find a better, sustainable source of water.”
An official from the water company said on Friday that a pipe broke, which made things worse. Officials said that the company was “barely” able to meet the needs of the area before the break. The break “was enough for their delivery of water to the City of Blanco to stop altogether.”
“The water level in our holding tank started to drop quickly when it wasn’t pumped in.” “If this isn’t fixed quickly, our city’s water system will lose all of its water by tomorrow at noon,” Blanco Mayor Mike Arnold said. Due to the event, “Stage 6” water restrictions were put in place, which is the highest level of emergency. For the time being, no commercial or recreational water use was allowed while the water company worked to fix the pipe.
By Saturday morning, all of the city’s tanks were full, and the water supplier started delivering again. However, the city kept the limits in place out of an abundance of caution. The city kept its strictest rule until Monday, when officials said they had lowered it from Stage 6 to Stage 5. This means that residents can’t use water for anything other than indoor purposes or for watering their lawns “until further notice.”
“Hey everyone, this drought is really bad. The lakes and rivers are very low. Officials said that the recent rains didn’t have much of an effect. “Please do not use any water outside, even though it is hard. We’re all in this together, and if we follow these steps, we should be able to get through this short-term problem without having to take more serious steps.
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 12,418 people live in Blanco County. The National Integrated Drought Information System says that the drought involves all of those people. The Census Bureau says that there are about 1,883 people living in Blanco City.
According to the government monitoring service, 60% of the county is in “extreme” drought, which means that crops and pastures could be lost in large amounts and there may not be enough water for everyone. The other 40% of the county is in “severe” drought, which means that crops and pastures are likely to be lost and water shortages are likely to become more common. Most of central Texas and most of the state as a whole are in some kind of drought.
Blanco isn’t the only place in Texas that doesn’t have enough water. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality says that in 180 days or less, at least eight public water systems across the state could run out of water. This could affect about 1,650 people. Also, four systems that serve more than 20,280 people could be without water in 45 days or less, and five systems that serve more than 47,330 people are already without water. As world temperatures continue to rise, things are only going to get worse.
The EPA put out a plan in October to help Texas and other states deal with the effects of climate change. The government said that Texas is the state most likely to be affected by climate change, which includes rising sea levels, more frequent and severe storms, droughts, and more frequent and severe wildfires.
“Texas may be more vulnerable to naturally occurring droughts due to the increased demand for limited water supplies due to rapid population growth, especially in urban areas,” the EPA states in its study. Since the beginning of the 20th century, the average yearly temperature has gone up by about 1˚F. If emissions keep going up, the Earth will warm up at a rate that has never been seen before by the end of the 21st century. This will lead to more extreme heat events.