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AM Update: Lakes Travis & Buchanan Low, Ron Paul Speaks at UT, Perry Endorses Romney

Lake Travis remains low due to dry conditions in April, despite the rains we received in March.
Reshma Kirpalani/KUT News
Lake Travis remains low due to dry conditions in April, despite the rains we received in March.

Lakes Travis and Buchanan Still Low

According to the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA), lakes Travis and Buchanan remain low –less than half full to be exact.

Texas saw an increase in rainfall last month but that hasn’t been enough to raise water levels in the Highland Lakes. As of April 25, lakes Travis and Buchanan combined are about 48 percent full; that’s much lower compared to last April when the lakes were 71 percent full.

The record-setting drought last year hit the Highland Lakes hard; the lack of rain brought the amount of water flowing into the lakes, called inflows, to a record low. The rains this March caused inflows to surpass the historical average, but with dry weather this month the inflow levels have not hit their normal average.

In early March, low water levels in the Highland Lakes even forced the LCRA to cut off water to rice farmers downstream.

Last year was the driest year in Texas history, with an average of only 14.8 inches of rain, says StateImpact Texas, KUT’s reporting partnership with NPR. Austin, El Paso and San Antonio are in the lightest stages of the drought and Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston are now drought free. West Texas though, is still suffering from dry conditions. For an extensive look at what caused the drought visit StateImpact Texas.

Ron Paul Will Speak Tonight at UT

GOP presidential hopeful Ron Paul will speak to supporters tonight at an open house meeting which will be held at the LBJ Library lawn at 7:00 p.m. The event is free; those planning to attend are encouraged to RSVP.

Congressman Paul is on a three-stop tour of Texas. He spoke to supporters last night at the University of Texas El Paso, and will head to the University of Houston on Friday. The college campus tour was organized the by Youth for Ron Paul organization, comprised of students nationwide with over 600 chapters.

Paul will likely discuss his platform for a constitutionally-limited government, as described on his website. After the open house, he will attend a private fundraiser in Austin.

Governor Perry Endorses Mitt Romney

Yesterday, after reports Newt Gingrich would drop out of the GOP Presidential Primary, Governor Rick Perry threw his support behind Mitt Romney, according to the Texas Tribune.

In his official statement, Perry says Romney earned the nomination through “hard work and strong organization and a disciplined message of restoring America” and pledges to “work hard to help [Romney] defeat President Obama.”

At one time, Perry and Romney were bitter rivals as both contended to win the GOP nomination. Perry argued that Romney was a “flip-flopper” and a bad choice for the GOP candidacy due to his moderate stance as Massachusetts governor, says the Tribune.

All the bad blood appears to be in the past, with Romney embracing Perry’s endorsement in a tweetstating he was “looking forward to working with him.”

Governor Perry officially dropped out of the race in January while in South Carolina. After poor performances in the debates and falling poll numbers, Perry made the call to end his campaign for president.

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