Water emergency in Mineral Wells

MINERAL WELLS — Officials with the City of Mineral Wells are scrambling to find another source of water as Lake Palo Pinto hovers around 10 percent capacity as a result of the historic Texas drought.

"Every day it's scary, yes," said Scott Blasor of the Palo Pinto County Municipal Water District. "We are very concerned about it, so we are doing everything we can to come up with an alternative source, hoping that we don't ever have to use it."

Stunning video captured by HD Chopper 8 Tuesday morning shows a barren landscape of dried, cracked mud where lake water should be. Floating docks are stranded as Lake Palo Pinto slowly dies of thirst.

The 27,000-acre-foot reservoir was built in the 1960s to meet growing demand for water, collecting the runoff from the watershed and redirecting water from Lake Mineral Wells.

Lake Palo Pinto provides water to the City of Mineral Wells. It's their only source of the precious fluid.

According to the City of Mineral Wells, they are not alone in dealing with drought conditions. It is just one of 58 cities across Texas with a 180-day supply of water.

At this point, even a nice hard rain only buys them a few more weeks of water. Waiting for rain is no longer a solution.

So Mineral Wells' water board is working on two drought contingency plans:

The first would be to pipe into Lake Mineral Wells and funnel that water to a treatment plant.

The second option: Collect and treat water from the Brazos River and ship it to the city.

"They're not easy, and they're not cheap — probably somewhere in the range of $4-$7 million if both projects are chosen," Blasor said.

The Water Board could approve both projects as early as Friday.


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