From the LCRA:
Nearly all of Texas is in a serious drought, and nearly two-thirds of the state — including most of Central Texas and the lower Colorado River basin — is entering the summer season in exceptional drought, the most severe category.
The eight months from October 2010 through May 2011 have been the driest eight-month period on record for Texas since 1895. Rainfall in Austin was 38 percent of normal, and Wharton rainfall was 30 percent of normal.
Because soil is parched, it will take about 5 to 6 inches of rain in the basin to begin to produce significant runoff. That amount of rain appears highly unlikely this summer, unless a tropical storm brings rainfall to the region. Long-range weather forecasts indicate rainfall will remain below normal until early fall and, even then, likely will not be enough to significantly affect the amount of water stored in lakes Travis and Buchanan.
By Sept. 1, combined storage is expected to drop to 1 million acre-feet and could drop as low as 900,000 acre-feet if extreme drought conditions continue. If combined storage reaches 900,000 acre-feet, LCRA will ask firm customers to implement the mandatory water-use restrictions in their drought contingency plans, with a goal of reducing water use by 10 to 20 percent.
Apparently, there is only one public boat ramp open on both Lake Travis and Buchanan and these are facing possible closure if conditions don't improve.
Several towns around here: Blanco, LLano, and others are on the verge of running out of water altogether.
Some are saying this drought might on the scale of the 1950's drought which persisted for almost 10 years, the so-called "Drought of Record" - though this one has a ways to before getting to that state.
Drought of record: The decade-long drought that affected Central Texas from the late 1940s through the late 1950s. (See LCRA history.) No other drought in recent history was as severe or as sustained. LCRA and other organizations use it as a benchmark to compare recent droughts and to prepare for future droughts.
Its pretty bad when you start wishing for a tropical storm or hurricane.
Recreational sailing is among the least of my worries at the moment.