Growing concern surrounds low water at North Texas lakes

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by SEBASTIAN ROBERTSON

Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaasebastian

WFAA

Posted on April 7, 2014 at 8:26 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 7 at 8:40 PM

Lavon Lake

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LAVON LAKE — The sun came out briefly over North Texas Monday morning; then another round of clouds and rain moved into the area.

While most of us are celebrating the much-needed wet weather, it didn't even put a dent in our serious drought.

Take Lavon Lake, for instance. While the recent rain did fractionally increase the water level, it remains nearly 12 feet below the normal level.

That's less than half-full.

"It's something you learn to live with; it's the unknown," said Joe Castro of Collin Park Marina, who has been watching Lavon rise and fall for 23 years.

He said this season is among the worst.

"You can plan; you can make all the plans you want, but you can't plan for Mother Nature," Castro said.

It's going to take far more rain than what fell over the weekend to return Lavon Lake to its normal shoreline, so Collin Park Marina must adapt. A series of bridges now link the parking lot to the floating marina, running power and fresh water to boats — and saving their business in the process.

The marina manager said if water levels drop just five more feet, the docks may have to be moved a half-mile further away from shore.

While Castro prays for rain, the lake levels are also critical to provide drinking water for the surrounding area, as far away as Frisco.

"We're getting close to being in danger to going into what we call Stage IV, which is no outdoor watering," said Frisco Mayor Maher Maso. "I don't think we'll get there — hopefully we'll get some rain — but that is a concern, and we need people to conserve."

For his city that is among the fastest growing in the nation, Maso says every drop of water counts.

Joe Castro says he'll do whatever it takes to keep his business open... and his clients on the water.

"Everybody is worried that uses this lake, and the topic is low water right now," he said. "We're all hoping that Mother Nature will give us a break and start raining and everything will be OK."

So Castro prays for rain, while knowing the hottest and driest months of the year lie ahead.

E-mail srobertson@wfaa.com

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