Lake Meredith Water Level Dropping, Concern Rising for Lubbock Water Supply - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/14/03

Lake Meredith Water Level Dropping, Concern Rising for Lubbock Water Supply

Officials stop short of calling this a panic situation, but they are troubled by it. Lake Meredith is located approximately 37 miles north east of Amarillo. It is now only one-third its original size, and its water level is dropping a tenth-of-an-inch a day.

Councilman Tom Martin says this might be a good time to introduce Lubbock residents to the idea of reusing our waste water.

What was once a 10,000 acre reservoir, is now less than 4,000 acres of water. And officials say Lake Meredith will shrink to its lowest level ever, unless the rain comes soon.

"We'll be at that record low sometime this summer," says Kent Satterwhite with the Canadian River Municipal Water Authority.

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Built in 1965, Lake Meredith has met the water needs of 11 West Texas cities for the past four decades. Lubbock and Amarillo are the largest of the 11 cities. "Quite frankly, it's going to take four hurricanes parking over the Texas Panhandle to be able to fill it up," says City Councilman Tom Martin.

Councilman Frank Morrison say despite the lake's low levels, Lubbock is actually in a good situation. That's because the City of Lubbock gets its water from both Lake Meredith and a number of well fields in Roberts and Bailey counties.

The short-term outlook, over the next three years looks good. Martin says the long term outlook, 15 to 50 years looks good too, thanks to the Lake Alan Henry project. But Martin says it's the mid-term outlook, when we're in between the use of Lake Meredith and Lake Alan Henry that looks a little bleak. Martin says one fix we need to get serious about, is reusing waste water.

If Lake Meredith continues to shrink, Lubbock may be forced to activate water rationing and water restriction plans. So, officials have some advice for us now, hoping it doesn't come to rationing.

Some tips:

  • Install low-flow toilets.
  • When brushing your teeth, turn the water off.
  • Only run the dishwasher with a full load.
  • Wash laundry with a full load, because it takes about 59 gallons of water per load.
  • This summer, water your lawn early in the morning and at night.
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