Letters to the Editor, March 30

March 30, 2013

Relief possible from

environmental impact

Based upon the data gathered by the Save the Lake Organization, it appears that the answer to our problem is self-evident!

Granbury is the smallest of three interconnected lakes along the Brazos River. Possum Kingdom and Whitney both have over twice the volume of water and less than 20 percent of the population and economic value surrounding their impoundments.

Granbury has multiple power plants with commercial and residential domestic water supply draws on their impoundment. Granbury also supplies the majority of the water supply for Squaw Creek Reservoir at Comanche Peak.

All these factors combined result in the smallest overall body of water supplying the greatest draw in the basin. In doing so, Lake Granbury also receives the return from these supplies as wastewater from its surrounding communities and power plants. This wastewater is not dangerous in itself, but when concentrated it raises the mineral and nutrient content of the overall impoundment to levels above the lakes above (Possum Kingdom) and below (Lake Whitney). This causes environmental issues when the water is not of proper volume to dissipate and when the water is not exchanged (diluted) on a regular basis.

In past years there has been a significantly higher volume of water maintained in Lake Granbury to help dilute these values, as well as water exchange with supply from hydro power generation at Possum Kingdom and release from Lake Granbury to maintain the downstream river flows. With dropping water volumes, no decrease in return water from power plants and surrounding water consumers (wastewater), the concentrations in Lake Granbury are now shifting to reduce oxygenation levels that manifest as algae blooms that then result in fish kills.

There are other impacts that have not become evident; but will continue to manifest as the ecosystem surrounding the lake is altered due to the changing water balance created by minimized dilution from volume of water and continued influx from commercial and residential users.

The simple answer for all is to maintain the most volume of water available and provide an adequate supply and discharge to maintain stable water quality. Proof of water quality should be established by using regular water samples at major influx and discharge locations to determine the extent of imbalance created or resulting from runoff, water draws or water discharge. Then supply from Possum Kingdom and discharge to Lake Whitney can be properly evaluated and implemented.

Common sense should prevail in these determinations; most volume of water equals the greatest overall dilution; which equals the least amount of impact for supply and release from the overall basin.

The devastation to our community due to the prolonged low water levels is obvious. The economic impact of the inability of the community to access the lake is being felt now and will continue to ripple throughout our community. These damages are the result of the BRA’s unwillingness to address their policy change on historical water release from Possum Kingdom. While this policy will ultimately be actionable, it will be long after the damage to our community, economy and home values has occurred.

The environmental impact that we are now experiencing is regulated by the TCEQ (Texas Commission of Environmental Quality) and can result in immediate relief if the water samples are taken and proof is provided that the resources of the State of Texas (water and wildlife) are being harmed. They have the authority and responsibility to file an injunction to require immediate water release from Possum Kingdom.

If there were to be a rallying call for our cause, I believe this solution can provide the desired relief for all entities involved.

David Haley


Why does so much water

have to empty into Gulf?

I am writing in response to the op-ed written by Hood County resident Chris Adams and published in the March 16 issue of the Hood County News.

The answer to this one question should be responded to by the BRA as well as Mr. Adams.

Why if, as the BRA claims, over 6 million acre feet of water is released into the Gulf of Mexico by the BRA, could not less than 2 percent be held back to keep Lake Granbury’s 193,000 acre feet capacity full?

Ray Ashley


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