GBRA general manager warns drought could get worse

By by Dianna Wray - DWRAY@VICAD.COM
Nov. 8, 2011 at 5:08 a.m.

Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority General Manager William West warned that Texas has been dry this year, but next year could be worse.

West, who spoke at the Victoria Economic Development Corporation's Victoria Partnership meeting on Tuesday morning, said the state climatologist noted this year has been the driest on record. The whole state is in an extreme drought, and everybody will be watching their water supplies in the future. With predictions abounding that the drought will continue next year, the GBRA and other water suppliers are working to figure out how they will meet their commitments next year.

Victoria's average daily flow on Oct. 16 was 256 cubic feet per second, a significant drop compared to the average flow of 2,500 cubic feet per second the year before.

"The watershed is bone dry. There's no question about it," West told the audience of about 60 people.

West said the GBRA is making a point of going into communities to make it clear that the drought is something everyone should be concerned about. All of the cities supplied by the GBRA are now in some stage of water conservation.

West said conservation will be one of the cheapest answers to the problem of a lack of water. Communities need to make lifestyle changes and to become better stewards of their water resources, because all of the signs indicate that the drought won't be going away.

"The general public realizes we're in a drought situation, but I don't think they appreciate the severity of the situation. The long range forecasts are for 2012 to be as dry as 2011. If that happens, next summer will be intense," West said.



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