October blog entry from the Mansfield Dam area
BY: Jon Adams
From the pictures you can see that clearly the lake is down from its normal levels. The dam is off to left but the water in this area is usually 30 to 40 ft higher than it is in this picture. Even after big rains in the Austin area recently the lake has not gone up enough to notice. “The modern dogma is comfort at any cost.” ― Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac. This quote is appropriate for the lake Travis area because as water consumption has increased in the surrounding area due to increasing populations, the lake has contently gone down. Just observing the banks of the lake show where the water was for the longest period of time until the last 4 or so years ago. Also down stream farming requires a large amount of water and only increases the strain on the Colorado river system. As in many other places water is scarce and becoming even more so but consumption has not decreased . Businesses in the area have been hit pretty hard because after years of very low lake levels tourism has decreased in the area as well as boat traffic even with the locals. Forcing business that depend on boat traffic to survive have gone out of business after thriving for decades. Lake Travis is a man made lake so perhaps nature is catching up with it and showing that disturbing nature in a drastic ways can have serious consequences in the long run. Perhaps climate change is to blame for hotter, longer and dryer summer as well as less rainy falls, winters, and springs leading to lower lake levels. No matter the cause its a sad sight to see a beautiful lake in such bad condition.