On Thursday, June 9, the North Llano River stopped flowing. On August 4, the U.S. Drought Monitor showed 80 percent of the Texas Hill Country in exceptional drought. The Pedernales, Guadalupe and Frio Rivers are dry, and many other Texas rivers are heading toward zero flow.

Ranchers and farmers have been put on notice—prepare to shut off irrigation to save water for downstream senior water rights holders. The springs that keep Hill Country swimming holes full and cool for hot summer days are disappearing.

Read more from Emily R. Warren Armitano of the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation and HCA Executive Director Katherine Romans in the Austin American-Statesman here.