This is the sixteenth week in a row of weekly improvements in statewide reservoir storage. Back on February 20th, our reservoirs were collectively 64.9 percent full; they are now 83.7 percent full. More rain and runoff are needed in West and South Texas to bring reservoirs back up to normal conditions.
Some notes from Dr. Wentzel:
· The most recent map from the U.S. Drought Monitor for conditions as of June 9th shows little change across the state in the last week. Abnormally Dry (D0) areas contracted in parts of Central Texas and the Panhandle, but expanded in other parts of Central Texas. The area of Moderate (D1) Drought (the only category of drought remaining in the state) shrank modestly but still clings on in a small area in the Panhandle.
· The improvement of statewide conservation storage slowed in the last week. Total conservation storage was up only about 50,000 acre-feet (0.2 percentage points), but that was good enough to extend to 16 the current streak of weeks of improvement. Storage is normal for this time of year, more than 17 percentage points better than a year ago.
· As of Thursday, June 11th, conservation storage was up in 3, unchanged in 1, and down in 5 of 9 climate regions with reservoirs across the state. The largest decrease this week was in the Trans Pecos, down 0.6 percentage points. The South Central and South regions had the largest increases, up 1.4 and 1.2 percentage points, respectively. All other changes were 0.2 percentage points or less.
· Conservation storage (as a percentage of capacity) increased in 4 of the 20 municipal reservoir systems that we track across the state, remained unchanged in 7, and decreased in 9. El Paso had the largest decrease for the week, down 0.8 percentage points. Corpus Christi and Austin had the largest gains, up 1.8 and 1.3 percentage points, respectively. All other changes were less than ½ a percentage point.
· The Drought Outlook from the National Weather Service for June remains the same as last week, anticipating continued improvement and no development of new areas of drought. The Seasonal Drought Outlook, for conditions through the end of August, will be released June 18th.