Thursday, May 28, 2015

There's Water in Them There Lakes

San Angelo and the Concho Valley have been blessed with some good rains this year. As I write this, our area is about 5 inches above our average for this time of year. About 10 days ago, the area had some record-breaking rainfall, receiving anywhere from 2 to 6 inches in a very short period of time. We recorded 4.5 inches at our house. There was flooding all over the area, but the worst damage seemed to be along the North Concho River, which runs in a southwesterly direction from near Big Spring down through the heart of San Angelo where it merges with the South Concho River.

As a result, we now have water in O. C. Fisher Reservoir, which is the lake within the confines of San Angelo State Park. We've had virtually no water in that lake since we moved here about 4 years ago.

For contrast, here are a couple of pictures taken almost 4 years apart. The first is O.C. Fisher Reservoir on August 5, 2011. The second was taken just a few days ago.

O. C. Fisher Reservoir from August 5, 2011

O. C. Fisher from almost the same location on May 24, 2015
Today, O. C. Fisher has over 15,000 acre feet of water. Twin Buttes, another lake that was virtually bone dry a couple of weeks ago, now has more than 20,000 acre feet. Twin buttes is located due west of San Angelo and is fed by the Middle Concho watershed while O. C. Fisher is fed by the North Concho watershed.

O. C. Fisher from Isabell Harte Park within the state park. This picture shows that the lake could still hold quite a bit more water.

We've had good rain this spring. In fact, we are 4 to 5 inches above our average for this time of year. Farms and especially ranches are looking much healthier. There is much improved forage for livestock.

But this doesn't mean the drought is over as I hear many people say. Yes, pastures look better and there is water in our lakes. But our main resource lake, O. H. Ivie, has seen little improvement from the rains. Ivie is located about 60 miles due east and is fed by the Colorado and Concho Rivers and their tributaries. We get our water from this lake. Even though these areas have seen good rains as well, the runoff hasn't been as good and the rise in the lake has not been as significant as with other lakes. Still, we'll take what we can get.

On a related note, I arose early 2 days after our heavy rains. As I drove down our alley, I noticed 3 yards whose sprinklers were running. What a waste. I do not know why people can't turn off their sprinkler systems until they need them. All you have to do is push a single button on most systems. We must learn to eliminate this type of wasteful behavior.

1 comment:

  1. I have thought about you and Donna so much during these abundant rains. I am glad to read the progress in West Texas. Thank you for keeping your eastern friends up to date on the water on the opposite end of the horizontal plane!