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Drought and population boom affecting popular Hill Country watering holes


WIMBERLEY, Texas (KXAN) – As temperatures warm, many central Texas watering holes will begin to become popular destinations, but as the drought continues and populations grow in the Hill Country, conservationists worry about the future of our favorite places.

With less water supplying these areas, water levels may decrease and flow may stop.

Drought is a concern, but with growing populations in the Hill Country, it also means more water will be used.

Upstream communities like Wimberley provide water to many downstream communities, so if less water flows upstream, it affects streams, rivers and lakes downstream.

This is why conservationists try to educate people on how they can preserve these resources.

“In terms of what our aquifers are doing right now, we are a little better off than we were last year at this time, but we are about to enter the high water period where people are turning on their sprinkler systems and starting to use a lot more irrigation water outdoors,” said Robin Gary of the Wimberley Valley Watershed Association.

Jacob’s Well, a popular swimming hole in Wimberley, has stopped flowing three times in recorded history, but unless more action is taken to conserve water, it could happen more often.

Using less water and protecting recharge areas around the Hill Country is key to protecting waterways, said Virginia Parker of the San Marcos River Foundation.

“Blue Hole, San Marcos River or Devil’s River, it comes out of the ground,” Parker said. “So if we don’t protect that groundwater through recharge area protection, we’re going to lose those places and our grandchildren won’t know about those special pristine waterways.”