AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The most severe drought in the nation is
drying up one of Austin's most treasured natural resources.
The Barton Springs Pool on spring-fed Barton Creek has drawn
more than 400,000 visitors from around the world each year to
Zilker Park in southwestern Austin.
But a severe drought is dragging into its third year in parts of
central and southern Texas. Lakes, rivers and creeks are
evaporating and groundwater sources that feed the region's many
springs are plummeting. Cities have ordered residents to cut back
on water use, and farmers' crops have been devastated.
The Barton Springs are flowing at about 25 percent of their
average rate, threatening drinking water supplies, endangered
salamanders and the swimming hole where the water is always about