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Rains give boost to lake levels

October 3, 2012

Recent rains throughout the Crossroads area haven't just lent a green hue to lawns and trees, as officials with the Colorado River Municipal Water District say the rainfall has helped to replenish levels at its ailing reservoirs.

Some areas in the Big Spring area and throughout the Permian Basin enjoyed rainfall totaling nearly 7 inches, bringing the lake level at O.H. Ivie Reservoir — located in Concho, Coleman and Runnels Counties — to 25.6 percent full, with 141,800 acre-feet of water in storage. According to CRMWD Manager John Grant, the much-needed rain brings the reservoir back to its estimated level in June 2011.

“The inflow received to the reservoirs has provide some much needed relief for water supplies for the region,” Grant said. “However, it's important to remind our customer cities and their residents, who are served by the district, the drought is not over. It is still very important to continue to be vigilant of their water use.”

According to Grant, the District will be evaluating the current inflow over the next few weeks and the operation of its raw water transmission system, to see if the limits the water district has set on water deliveries to its customers can be modified.

“We need to inspect and repair some of the temporary facilities constructed in the lake basins to pump water back to the main pump stations and some of our major water transmission facilities,” Grant said. “This includes the pipeline and pump stations on the Spence System, which have not been operated since August 2011. The District wants to make sure all of its facilities are operation before making any adjustments to water supply deliveries.”

According to CRMWD figures released Tuesday, O.H. Ivie Reservoir received more than 77,000 acre-feet of inflow, while the E.V. Spence Reservoir located in Coke County received more than 20,000 acre-feet of inflow.

The water district also reports water is still flowing into its three main reservoirs, which include Lake J.B. Thomas, Spence and Ivie Reservoirs, with waters expected to continue flowing for the next day or two.

Lake Thomas has received 1,160 acre-feet of inflow and rose 3.1 feet, according to CRMWD calculations, bringing it to 0.98 percent full with 1,970 acre-feet of water in storage. The reservoir last saw figures similar to these in April 2012.

E.V. Spence Reservoir has received 20,496 acre-feet of inflow and rose 21.4 feet, bringing it up to 4.15 percent of capacity with 21,470 acre-feet of water in storage. The last time the lake was at this level was November 2010, according to CRMWD figures.

O.H. Ivie Reservoir — which has become the lone reservoir supplying Big Spring and many of the CRMWD customer cities — received 77,070 acre-feet of inflow and rose 15.1 feet, with current conditions are 25.6 percent full with 141,800 acre-feet of water in storage.

Moss Creek Lake also enjoyed a boon from the recent rains, receiving 733 acre-feet of inflow and rose 6.5 feet, bringing it to 58.5 percent of capacity with 2,014 acre-feet of water in storage.

As CRMWD continues to evaluate the impact the risen lake levels will have on water deliveries, more good news — in the form of rainfall — could be on the way. According to several online weather information providers, including Accuweather and the National Weather Service, forecasters are calling for a chance of rain during the weekend.

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