WIMBERLEY, TEXAS – July 28, 2022: Jacob’s Well has reached zero flow. This has serious ramifications for the surrounding community. The Middle Trinity Aquifer is both a major water supply for the area and the water source for Jacob’s Well, the headwaters of Cypress Creek.
With low to no flow from Jacob’s Well over the past months, segments of Cypress Creek have gone dry. The few deep pools along Cypress Creek remaining are sustained by local, gallons-per-minute springs within the creekbed and provide the only sanctuary for wildlife and aquatic species. From the groundwater standpoint, water levels in monitor wells are steadily declining. There are many reports of residential wells having trouble, and bulk water delivery services have long waitlists.
“Since 2005 when the USGS monitoring station was established at Jacob’s Well, there have been 3 years where the daily average spring flow reached zero—2009, 2011, and 2013. Without rainfall soon, 2022 will be added to the list,” explains Robin Gary, Managing Director of the Watershed Association. “Jacob’s Well spring flow is directly affected by drought and groundwater pumping. According to the USGS flow record, yesterday Jacob’s Well spring flow ranged from 0.28 to 0 cubic feet per second (cfs), with an average flow of 0.06 cfs. Jacob’s Well is an effective drought indicator for the area,” she adds.
Throughout the Hill Country, groundwater conservation districts have declared drought stages to reduce pumping and protect existing groundwater supplies. Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District declared a Stage 3 Drought with 30% reduction in pumping on April 7, 2022 when the 10-day average flow dropped below 3 cfs. An Emergency Drought declaration with 40% reduction in pumping is expected in the coming weeks. (For a list of drought reductions by Hill Country groundwater conservation districts visit the Water Monitoring page).
Rainfall deficits are as much as 8-12 inches below average across the Hill Country. Residents and businesses in Hays County are heavily reliant on groundwater, so conservation is key to extending the existing groundwater supplies until wet weather can provide the rainfall, runoff, and recharge needed to replenish groundwater systems. Coordinated conservation is essential to safeguard water supplies and environmental flows in springs, creeks and rivers. Homeowners can substantially reduce water use by turning off outdoor irrigation systems and restricting outdoor water use.
The following photos document Jacob’s Well and Cypress Creek conditions on July 27-28, 2022:
Media Contact: Robin Gary, firstname.lastname@example.org