Sunday, November 3, 2013

Drought Today, Water Amendment Vote Tues.

With Texas Proposition 6 on the ballot on Tuesday, Governor Perry extends the Drought State of Emergency in several Texas Counties.

Proposition 6 passed the Texas 83rd Legislature by resolution. It was placed on the ballot for the 2013 election along with several other proposed constitutional amendments. Proposition 6 will amend the Texas Constitution to allow for the transfer of funds to one designed to better provide water resources to Texas residents, especially those in areas affected by drought conditions.

Governor Rick Perry is an advocate of Proposition 6, and has been openly campaigning in favor of the proposed amendment's ratification.

Meanwhile, Governor Perry has, yet again, extended his Emergency Disaster Conditions Proclamation concerning several Texas Counties. These counties, including Bexar,which contains San Antonio, have seen lower than average precipitation coupled with high summer temperatures since June. These conditions prompted Governor Perry to issue the drought conditions proclamation on July 5th 2011. The conditions continue after 30 months.

Courtesy of the Edwards Aquifer Authority and the National Weather Service (NEXRAD).

Despite some major flash floods in and around Bexar County and San Antonio this summer, the overall rainfall has not been sufficient to replenish the Edwards Aquifer that serves Bexar, Medina, Uvalde, Hays, Comel, Kendal, Kerr, Bandera, Real, Kinney, and Edwards Counties as well as the cities of San Antonio and San Marcos. The Edwards Aquifer is one of the largest natural aquifers in the US. It supports over 1.7 million people and expands over 8,800 square miles.

In Bexar county, the Aquifer's average daily level has been near 638 million gallons, supplying an average daily usage of just over 200 million gallons. The highest measured level for the Bexar County section of the aquifer was 703 million gallons in 1992.  For the drought conditions to dissipate, the Bexar County area of the aquifer needs to average over 658 million gallons.

Some claim the extension of the proclamation may be a political move meant to influence the voting on Nov. 5th. However, aquifer level measurements compared to usage for the Edwards Aquifer show sustainability may be severely hampered if the fall and winter months produce little precipitation to recharge the aquifer.

This particular aquifer provides water to not only the households in the major San Antonio and San Marcos metropolitan areas, but irrigates ranches, farms, orchards and vineyards in the affected counties. This affects state and national food supplies.

Governor Perry's proclamation extension:

I, RICK PERRY, Governor of the State of Texas, issued an Emergency Disaster Proclamation on July 5, 2011, certifying that exceptional drought conditions posed a threat of imminent disaster in specified counties in Texas.
WHEREAS, record high temperatures, preceded by significantly low rainfall, have resulted in declining reservoir and aquifer levels, threatening water supplies and delivery systems in many parts of the state; and
WHEREAS, prolonged dry conditions continue to increase the threat of wildfire across many portions of the state; and
WHEREAS, these drought conditions have reached historic levels and continue to pose an imminent threat to public health, property and the economy; and
WHEREAS, this state of disaster includes the counties of Anderson, Andrews, Aransas, Archer, Armstrong, Atascosa, Austin, Bailey, Bandera, Bastrop, Baylor, Bee, Bell, Bexar, Blanco, Borden, Bosque, Bowie, Brazoria, Brazos, Briscoe, Brooks, Brown, Burleson, Burnet, Caldwell, Calhoun, Callahan, Cameron, Camp, Carson, Cass, Castro, Cherokee, Childress, Clay, Cochran, Coke, Coleman, Collin, Collingsworth, Colorado, Comal, Comanche, Concho, Cooke, Coryell, Cottle, Crane, Crockett, Crosby, Culberson, Dallam, Dallas, Dawson, Deaf Smith, Delta, Denton, DeWitt, Dickens, Dimmit, Donley, Duval, Eastland, Ector, Edwards, Ellis, El Paso, Erath, Falls, Fannin, Fayette, Fisher, Floyd, Foard, Fort Bend, Franklin, Freestone, Frio, Gaines, Galveston, Garza, Gillespie, Glasscock, Goliad, Gonzales, Gray, Grayson, Gregg, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hale, Hall, Hamilton, Hansford, Hardeman, Harris, Harrison, Hartley, Haskell, Hays, Hemphill, Henderson, Hidalgo, Hill, Hockley, Hood, Hopkins, Houston, Howard, Hudspeth, Hunt, Hutchinson, Irion, Jack, Jackson, Jeff Davis, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Johnson, Jones, Karnes, Kaufman, Kendall, Kenedy, Kent, Kerr, Kimble, King, Kinney, Kleberg, Knox, La Salle, Lamar, Lamb, Lampasas, Lavaca, Lee, Leon, Liberty, Limestone, Lipscomb, Live Oak, Llano, Lubbock, Lynn, Madison, Marion, Martin, Mason, Matagorda, Maverick, McCulloch, McLennan, McMullen, Medina, Menard, Midland, Milam, Mills, Mitchell, Montague, Montgomery, Moore, Morris, Motley, Navarro, Nolan, Nueces, Ochiltree, Oldham, Palo Pinto, Panola, Parker, Parmer, Pecos, Polk, Potter, Presidio, Rains, Randall, Reagan, Real, Red River, Reeves, Refugio, Roberts, Robertson, Rockwall, Runnels, Rusk, San Jacinto, San Patricio, San Saba, Schleicher, Scurry, Shackelford, Sherman, Smith, Somervell, Starr, Stephens, Sterling, Stonewall, Sutton, Swisher, Tarrant, Taylor, Terrell, Terry, Throckmorton, Titus, Tom Green, Travis, Trinity, Upshur, Upton, Uvalde, Val Verde, Van Zandt, Victoria, Walker, Waller, Ward, Washington, Webb, Wharton, Wheeler, Wichita, Wilbarger, Willacy, Williamson, Wilson, Winkler, Wise, Wood, Yoakum, Young, Zapata and Zavala.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the authority vested in me by Section 418.014 of the Texas Government Code, I do hereby renew the disaster proclamation and direct that all necessary measures, both public and private as authorized under Section 418.017 of the code, be implemented to meet that threat.
As provided in Section 418.016 of the code, all rules and regulations that may inhibit or prevent prompt response to this threat are suspended for the duration of the state of disaster.
In accordance with the statutory requirements, copies of this proclamation shall be filed with the applicable authorities.
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto signed my name and have officially caused the Seal of State to be affixed at my office in the City of Austin, Texas, this the 31st day of October, 2013.