Our Water: area rainfall trends lower in recent years


Increasing fire risk and impacting local agriculture

SAN ANGELO, Texas – With water being as important as it is for everyone from residents to area farmers, the National Weather Service has been tracking rainfall averages. According to the NWS in 2019 San Angelo had roughly 17.73 inches. That puts the area roughly 3.52 inches below normal. Thus far in 2020, the NWS calculates 18.47 inches of rainfall, which leaves the area at 0.79 inches above normal. The normal average for area rainfall is 21.25.

Those amounts stand in contrast to the very rainy years between 2015 and 2018, which filled area reservoirs and in some cases triggered flooding. “If you go back to 2015, 16, 17 and even 18 we had quite a bit of rainfall,” said Hector Guerrero with the National Weather Service. “Those were wet years, pretty wet years. So in the last couple of years we’re actually seeing a little bit of a trend, in a sense, of having a little bit less rainfall in this part of Texas.”

That trend is worrisome, not only as San Angelo heads into the dry season with higher risk of fires, but for local agriculture as well. Though usage and evaporation are set to drop in the colder months, NWS staff say doing one’s part to reduce fire risk and conserve water are vital.

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Water Conservation Status

Standard Conservation

San Angelo is in standard conservation, which restricts outside watering to twice every seven days at no more than 1 inch per week. Watering is prohibited between noon and 6:00 p.m., but runoff of more than 150 feet down any street, gutter, alley or ditch is prohibited.

Report watering violations by clicking on https://www.cosatx.us/departments-services/water-conservation/report-a-water-violation or calling 325-657-4409. Do your part; be water smart!