TGR NEWS - January 2021
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La Niña Now Shaping New Year’s Weather
As announced by the NOAA Climate Prediction Center, La Niña conditions were observed during October, with negative sea surface temperature anomalies in early November stretching across most of the eastern and central equatorial Pacific Ocean. These colder than normal temperatures can be seen in the areas of blue rippling across the equator.
So far, it has been another mild and dry winter in South Texas. And there are signs on the horizon that indicate dry weather will continue into the spring of 2021.
A weather pattern known as “La Niña” is occurring in the southern Pacific Ocean. It forms when waters there are much cooler than normal, in turn causing weather conditions to be warmer and drier for months over much of the country, especially in the southern United States.
“La Niña makes the jet stream stay farther north than usual, so we don’t get as many cold fronts and storms as we normally would,” said John Nielsen-Gammon, Texas State Climatologist and Texas A&M University regents professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate Prediction Center. “However, at this point, it doesn’t look like the super-strong La Niña we had in 2010-2011 will be repeating itself. The temperatures in the ocean now are not all that much cooler than normal, even down below the surface. So the consensus is for a weak to moderate La Niña event.“
While the forecast doesn’t project an extended period of hot and dry weather for this spring and summer, more than three quarters of Texas is now in drought for the first time in six years.
Over the past few months, most of the state has received less than half of its normal rainfall and the outlook for future rain is not looking good.
That lack of rain has already caused a lowering of surface and ground water sources. Rivers and reservoirs in central and western Texas are running lower than they have over the past few years. Near San Antonio, Medina Lake is 42 percent full, compared with 79 percent a year ago. Canyon Lake is 89 percent full, compared with 93 percent this time last year. Additionally, the Edwards Aquifer and Trinity Aquifer levels are running a little below average for this time of year.
Both the Trinity Glen Rose Groundwater Conservation District and San Antonio Water System are predicting that Bexar County could reach Stage 3 drought plan levels by summer if there are no large rain events in the next several months. Currently, the Trinity Glen Rose District is in Stage 1 of its drought management plan.
“While you never can be exactly certain how weather conditions will play out several months from now, the La Niña indicator has been pretty accurate in past years,” said George Wissmann, TGR General Manager. “The 2010-2011 La Niña was fairly severe and Texas experienced one of the driest periods in its history. So, we just want people to be aware of what could come so they can implement sound water use practices over the coming months. Good water conservation efforts always make a difference and are greatly appreciated by water supply managers and water well owners alike.”
You can read about TGR’s drought plan at: www.trinityglenrose.com/conservation.
TGR Posts Parks Photo Galleries
Over the past six months, the Trinity Glen Rose District (TGR) obtained some picturesque photos of the six major parks located within the district boundaries. The photos were featured in a pollution prevention campaign which reached hundreds of thousands of people in Northern Bexar County. Now, the district has posted those photos on its website where visitors can not only look through the collections but download any of the photos as well.
Just go to www.TrinityGlenRose.com/photos and click on any of the collections. Once you enter the gallery, you can click on any of the photos. In the upper left hand corner of the page you will see the options to download the photo, like it, and/or share it via your own social media pages.
Remember, these parks are not only beautiful and peaceful to walk through, they also serve to help prevent pollution from running off into the streams and aquifers, like the Trinity Glen Rose Aquifer, in Bexar County.
Time to Have your Sprinkler System Checked
July through September is typically the hottest and driest stretch of weather we see in South Texas each year. Any by now you know that means that your water conservation knowledge and skills should be on high alert. Because landscape watering can account for up to 60 percent of the city’s water use during this time of year, the Trinity Glen Rose District always like to remind homeowners and business owners to have their sprinkler systems inspected before the systems are turned on for regular use. Wasted water cannot be retrieved, so you only get one chance to efficiently use the water provided by the city’s water resources such as the Trinity and Edwards Aquifers.
The quickest do-it-yourself way to check your system is to start it up and then inspect each of the sprinkler heads in all of the system’s zones. Look for broken heads or heads that have sunken below ground. Then make sure that the heads are not watering the streets and sidewalks. Then you can observe whether there is adequate water pressure feeding each sprinkler head. A broken pipe or sprinkler head can drain away pressure and waste significant amounts of water.
Also, if you have been slowly and steadily replacing high water use plants with native low water use plants, you might make sure that your sprinkler system either does not water areas with native plants or waters only a little.
Here is some great news for you. The Trinity Glen Rose District and San Antonio Water System have teamed up over the last few years to offer free irrigation system consultation programs. In fact, TGR will give you a $50 coupon to have the consultation done. Just go to www.TrinityGlenRose.com/conservation for more information.
TGR Addressing COVID-19 Virus Health Safety Concerns
The Trinity Glen Rose Groundwater Conservation District (TGR) staff relocated to a new office in Helotes just before the March COVID-19 virus pandemic declarations by the State of Texas and City of San Antonio.
As of July 6, District staff alternate days throughout the week to minimize risk to constituents, staff and the general public by reducing group interactions. In the event an in-person appointment is needed, we will make every effort to accommodate. We will conduct a temperature screening prior to entering the office and require that all individuals present wear a mask and maintain 6' social distancing at all times. We will continue to monitor public health reports and recommendations and will continue to make future decisions based on the guidance provided by public health officials.
If you need assistance, you may call the office at 210-698-1155 and leave a message or you may call 210-219–5555 to contact someone directly.
New TGR District office location address:
Physical: 14789 Old Bandera Road, Suite 105, Helotes, Texas 78023
Mailing: 12790 FM 1560 N Box 1589, Helotes, Texas 78023
TGR Publishes 2019 Annual Report
The Trinity Glen Rose Groundwater Conservation District (TGR) just published its 2019 Annual Report. The TGR board reviewed the report in early March and approved the document for publication at its March meeting.
The 2019 Annual Report provides good background on the:
purpose of the district
well monitoring work
financial position, and
community outreach programs
This year, the District included two charts which outline TGR’s involvement in regional GMA-9 joint water planning efforts required by the State of Texas. The charts provide a 10-year history of water use in the region and how that compares to the region’s goals for water production from the Trinity Aquifer. Those goals are known as “desired future conditions.”