Water levels at Lake Meredith still low after rain - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/22/09

Water levels at Lake Meredith still low after rain

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Last week's rain helped the drought conditions in Lubbock, but the same can't be said for our water supply. Heavy rains brought about 2 inches of water to Lubbock last week. The playa lakes in Lubbock filled up after the rain, but that's not the case at Lake Meredith, where the city gets a good portion of its water supply.

Chad Pernell with the Canadian River Municipal Water Authority, or CRMWA, says low water levels have been a concern at the lake since 2000. Then, the average water level stood at more than 90 feet. Now, it's about 50 feet.

CRMWA uses well water to supplement its 11 member cities because of the decreased water supply. That's why the City of Lubbock says it's important to complete the projects like the Lake Alan Henry Project to make up for the loss of water. "As we look forward to our future supply, we won't be able to rely totally on Lake Meredith as a water supply. We will have Lake Meredith as a part, Robert's County Well Field, Bailey County Well Field, and Lake Alan Henry. Those will constitute our supply, and it will take all of those sources working together to ensure we have water," said Deputy City Manager Tom Adams. 

Pernell says to increase the water supply at Lake Meredith would take more than one storm. The ground absorbs much of the rain water because of drought conditions, so it never makes it to the lake. "One thunderstorm coming through, and raining for one night and then not raining again for a couple weeks won't do it. We need something that's going to come in and set over the area for a decent amount of time," says Pernell. 

CRMWA wants to continue the use of Lake Meredith because it is a renewable resource, unlike well water. However, renewable does not mean unlimited, and the lake could still use a lot more rain.

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