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The “foreseeable future” closes one of Texas’ most popular swimming spots

A popular Texas swim hole is closed indefinitely due to an unrelenting drought.

Jacob’s Well in Texas’ Hill Country will remain off limits to swimmers for the “foreseeable future” as water levels and flow remain too low for safe swimming, the Hays County Parks Department announced Sunday.

One of the state’s most beloved natural swim holes, Jacob’s Well is the second-largest fully submerged cave in Texas and maintains a crisp 68 degrees year-round. Most summers, hundreds visit the spring to dip into the blue-green waters that flow from an underground cavern system more than 140 feet deep.

But the well — named by 19th-century settlers because it conjured thoughts of biblical times — faces an uncertain future. It shut down last year after running dry for just the fifth time in recorded history, and Hays County officials say significant rainfall is needed to recharge the Trinity Aquifer, which supplies Jacob’s Well.

Last year’s historic drought also resulted in major crop lossesheightened the risk of grass fires and contributed to a record number of cattle sales.

The drought has largely subsided in North Texas, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, and Dallas-area reservoirs are more than 99% full, data from the Texas Water Development Board shows.

Hays County is still experiencing severe and extreme drought, according to the monitor, and even recent rainfall has not provided enough water to reverse the drought.

Jacob’s Well is still open this summer for hiking and sightseeing, the county said.

Source: dallasnews