Lake Brownwood Reaches Historic Levels; Water to be Released Downstream

lake brownwoodTexas lakes have seen a rise in the past few weeks and Lake Brownwood is no exception. Lake Brownwood has risen to historic levels not seen since 2010. The lake currently sits at 7 feet below spillway level and local residents seem concerned that the lake could inch closer to the spillway in the coming days as runoff continues to flow. Brown County Water Improvement Division’s maintenance supervisor Dennis Sphinx shares those concerns, “Well, we’ve come up over 5 feet, some people say 6 feet I’m not really sure but if we come up another 6 feet we’ll only be a foot and a half low.”

Sphinx has spent the better part of the past few days in the thriving community of Byrd’s on the Pecan Bayou trying to asses the situation. “It’s hard to tell because it rains and stops, rains and stops and the process just starts all over again. What made the situation tougher is that I forgot where the Bayou was.”

Due to the conflicting and often times confusing data that Sphinx has collected, Sphinx has determined that the best thing to do to assure the safety of those who live near the lake is to release some water downstream. “We are at a point where I think we may have to open up the flood gates to let some water out.” Water that is released from Lake Brownwood travels down the Pecan Bayou, through Brownwood and empties in to the Colorado River which then takes it to Lake Buchanan. “I’ve got a friend there with a boat dock, I can’t wait to call him and let him know I’m sending him water.”

Another benefit of the lake rising is that the lake now has ample supply to serve the irrigation customers in the county. Board member and fellow irrigator Ted Sampson explained. “I’ve been on the board fighting for these low (almost free) water rates for us irrigators for a long time now. It’s been bad the past few years when they tried to make us pay more than a couple of cents on the dollar for our water. Maybe now they’ll leave us alone.”

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