Extreme heat, drought return to South Texas

Aquifer, area lakes continue to drop

Author: Justin Horne, Meteorologist/Reporter, jhorne@ksat.com
Published On: Aug 02 2012 04:13:08 PM CDT   Updated On: Aug 02 2012 05:27:07 PM CDT
SAN ANTONIO -

The once simple task of putting a fishing boat on Medina Lake has become more difficult than ever.

"It’s hard,” admitted Chris Fussell, who has fished the lake since childhood. “Getting it out is the harder part."

Fussell believed his lifelong hobby may soon become impossible.

"It’s just sad, you know. I know it’s the only water source out here, so it’s just going to get worse."

Medina Lake remains one of the more vivid reminders of the toll the current drought has taken on South Texas. The lake itself is down nearly 60 feet and is only at 16 percent capacity.

Overall, rainfall has increased compared to last year and much of the area remains above normal for the year, but making up for last year’s deficit has proved insurmountable for places like Medina Lake.

"The problem is it is so dry, you get four or five inches of rain and the earth is so dry, it just soaks in,” said nearby resident of Medina Lake Ken Gilmore. "It's grim. Unless we get a 30-foot flood, I don’t see much hope for the lake."

Meanwhile, aquifer levels, too, are dropping after early season rains.

"We expect it to continue to drop at least through the end of August, if not into September," said Chief Technical Officer for the Edwards Aquifer Authority Geary Schindel.

Schindel said Stage 3 Restrictions are a possibility later this summer. Any hope now lies with the tropics and the eventual path of Tropical Depression No. 5.

For a list of recent stories Justin Horne has done, click here.