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TCEQ: Leander and Cedar Park Could Run Out of Water in 2012

Leander and Cedar Park in Williamson County are among eighteen Texas communities on a high priority water list maintained by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, according to our reporting partners, the Texas Tribune.

The Tribune put together the interactive map you see above using data collected from the TCEQ. Each color dot indicates the estimated number of days a city has left until it runs out of water unless something changes.

  • A red dot indicates less than 50 days from November 13.
  • Orange means 50 to 100 days.
  • Yellow indicates 100 to 143 days.
  • White represents cities with an unknown timeframe.

 
Cedar Park and Leander are both yellow dots. The TCEQ projects Cedar Park will run out of water on March 2, 2012. Leander could run out of water by April 1, 2012.

The City of Cedar Park says the TCEQ's list "somewhat misleading," because it doesn't take into account the measures the city has taken to avoid running out of water. 

"The TCEQ is aware that the City of Cedar Park is aggressively addressing the issue of the drought as it relates to the water supply, as the City regularly updates the TCEQ weekly of its progress," the city said in a statement that also outlines some of its drought mitigation efforts. 

So what does “running out of water” actually mean? The Tribune’s Susannah Jacob visited one of the cities closest to going dry, the community of Groesbeck, about 140 miles northeast of Austin. Population: about 4,300, plus a 1,000 bed federal prison. She found that Groesbeck’s plan is to buy water from a construction company that owns a quarry near the city.

The plan is for the quarry water, which Groesbeck began pumping on Wednesday, to flow three miles down nearly dry riverbeds to Fort Parker Lake, which is also dry and near the water treatment plant. But whether this will work is unknown. …. If the dry riverbeds absorb the water, the town, with its per-capita income of just more than $10,500, may need to build a far more expensive pipeline to the quarry.

 

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