Water levels at Lake Alan Henry dropping four feet a year - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Water levels at Lake Alan Henry dropping four feet a year

Lake Alan Henry's water level continues to drop. Lake Alan Henry's water level continues to drop.
JUSTICEBURG, TX (KCBD) -

Drought continues to take a toll on the South Plains.

If we don't see significant rainfall soon, the city of Lubbock could see additional water restrictions.

Most of the South Plains is considered to be in extreme to exceptional drought. While Lubbock is looking at restrictions, other communities are being hit even harder.

The city of Post estimates they only have a 90-day supply of water if they do not see rain soon.

Post's leaders are now looking to other cities, including Lubbock, for help.

Aubrey Spear is the Director of Water Resources for the city of Lubbock.

He said Lubbock gets 17 percent of its water supply from Lake Alan Henry and the other 83 percent comes from well fields in Roberts and Bailey counties.

So how much water are we losing each year and in the middle of this drought, do we have enough to share?

On Wednesday, the sun shined down on Lake Alan Henry. Derek Parker said the sunshine is having an obvious impact on water levels.

"It seems like ever since we haven't had a good rain, they've been dropping slowly," Parker said.

Spear said on average, the lake has dropped about four feet a year. That means, right now, the lake is about 63 percent full.

"So, the lake has continued to perform well, even in this drought," Spear said.

So what, other than the drought, is causing Lake Alan Henry's water level to drop?

"It's evaporated or what we call evapotranspiration, which is plants and other materials sucks it up into the soils," Spear explained.

Another source recently reported that the lake lost 69.2 billion gallons of water in a matter of months to something other than use or evaporation, something Spear said is inaccurate.

"We used 13.5 billion gallons from all of our sources last year. Lake Alan Henry holds over 30 billion gallons of water. Sixty-nine billion gallons is over two times the whole volume of Lake Alan Henry," Spear said.

While we may not be losing that large amount of water, we are in a drought and Spear said it's important to conserve where we can.

"We need it to fill back up, otherwise I'm going to sell my boat because there is nowhere else to go fishing," Parker said.

West Texans said they are counting on more than the lake to provide the water.

"Got to pray for rain, got to pray for rain," said Fred Hubbard, who spent the afternoon fishing at Lake Alan Henry.

Unless drought conditions diminish in the Lubbock area between now and June, the city will enter stage two of its drought contingency plan beginning June 1.

Copyright 2014 KCBD. All rights reserved.
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