Dry as a bone: What the drought means to you


June 30, 2011 at 1:30 a.m.

For the city:

Public works department monitors river flow and adjusts pumping to provide city with potable water.

When river flow is low, it can trigger different stages of drought contingency plans.

Dry ground moves around and results in more water main breaks. Causes city to use resources to repair leaks and breaks.

For the farmer:

Drought affected yields. Region will likely only produce about half of acreage expected.

Yields are disappointing to producers who can't take advantage of good commodity prices.

Eligible farmers with coverage can apply for USDA Farm Service Agency assistance.

For the rancher:

Some sell off calves or herds to ease pressure.

Lack of grass means some supplement to animals' diets with hay, molasses and supplemental proteins.

Disaster declaration means eligible ranchers with coverage can apply for USDA Farm Service Agency assistance.

Sources: Yoakum rancher Otto "Jimmy" Borchers, David Dierlam, Dierlam Feed Store, Jeff Nunley, executive director of the South Texas Cotton & Grain Association, Lynn Short, director of public works for the City of Victoria

For the gardener:

Gardeners need to keep flower beds and gardens in four to five inches of mulch to keep moisture in and help the roots stay cool.

When watering, plants should be as close as possible to the water source, allowing the plants to get as much water as possible.

Water early in the morning or late at night to minimize evaporation.

For the water boards:

Some wells in Goliad County have seen record lows, and the Goliad Water Conservation District will look at the amount of groundwater permits granted if the drought continues.

The Lavaca-Navidad River Authority has not had to activate its drought contingency plan, but encourages everyone to conserve water.

There are no rules to regulate production but the Victoria County Groundwater District is encouraging water conservation.

For the lake enthusiast:

Lake Texana is 7 feet low, and five of eight boat ramps have been closed.

Boaters are encouraged to be mindful of low levels and to watch for stumps and logs.

Sources: Earthworks co-owner Laurie Garretson, Goliad County Groundwater Conservation District president Art Dohmann, Lavaca-Navidad River Authority Deputy Manager Charles Reckaway, Victoria County Groundwater Conservation District General Manager Tim Andruss.



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