GRANBURY — Ralph Cooper has seen a lot during his years working around Lake Granbury, but nothing as bad as it is now.
"With the water levels seven feet down, it just kills business," he said.
Cooper works at the marina at Indian Harbor. He estimated business there is down more than 50 percent compared to last summer.
Before the recent rains, he said the marina could go hours with hardly any business at all.
"We really need some rain," he said, stating the obvious.
But not everyone is convinced the drought is the real reason behind the lake's dramatic shortfall.
Joe Williams, a lakefront homeowner, has been causing waves by trying to get the word out about what he sees as a growing management problem with the Brazos River Authority, which effectively controls water levels into and out of the lake.
"They just aren't responsive," Williams said.
The issue has exploded on social media on the Save Lake Granbury Facebook page.
The BRA blames the lake's low levels on the drought — plain and simple.
“The current situation in the upper Brazos River basin is caused by extreme drought conditions," said agency spokesman Matt Phillips. "This is a frustrating period for everyone, and is not unique to Lake Granbury.”
Williams is concerned about home values for the 3,500 sites around the water.
Long term, they are fighting a move by the BRA to take control of more water out of the basin. Public hearings are coming up on that issue.
But for business people like Cooper, the only thing they know for sure is that too much longer without significant rainfall — or without an increase in water flowing into the lake — will only mean less business.
"People come here because of the lake," he said.