It takes a flood to end a Texas drought and with the recent heavy rain event winding down, Highland Lakes water managers have a hopeful outlook.
"We're seeing some nice runoff in all the tributaries and we even got a little bit of increase in storage,” Dan Yates with the Lower Colorado River Authority said. “We saw about 24,000 acre-feet so far."
In the Edwards Aquifer, the rain event brought significant improvement.
"With a very wet September, we started seeing the water levels in our main monitor well coming up slowly," Brian Smith with the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District said. “It took a month to get one foot and it took a couple days to get another foot."
It's the most significant rain in three years, but much more is needed.
The most recent rains have brought Central Texas to a tipping point. With the saturated soils, any additional rainfall will go right into the creeks and lakes.
"We've had an inch of rain since last night and just that one inch of rain is causing the creeks to rise again," Smith said.
If the rain keeps coming, there's hope for long-term drought relief.
"A season of nice rains in the one- to three-inch territory, that'd bring us back to full rivers and full lakes,” Yates said. “That'd be the best."
But water managers remind us, it's only temporary relief for now.
"We were at 33-percent capacity before this event, and we're at 34 percent now,” Yates said. “The drought is very much still on."
Lake Buchanan residents missed out on the heaviest rainfall. That lake has risen only a few inches, but LCRA says enough has flowed into Lake Travis to buy some time.
The soonest the lake could hit Drought of Record is now February of next year.