From 11 feet low to 5 feet low

June 25, 2014

Those precious drops from heaven wreaked havoc in some areas Sunday, but lake lovers are more than thankful for the driving rain.

Yes, the lake is up. No, the gates aren’t open.

Lake Granbury is up 6 feet after heavy rain Sunday. Some areas received rain again Monday morning. Chances for more rain continue this week.

Just like that – the lake went from 11 feet low to 5 feet low. While most boaters still cannot get their boats out of the dock, the rain put a dent in the deficit.

The increased level brought the reopening of the boat ramp at Rough Creek Park. This is welcome news for those who are able to trailer their boats. City Beach Ramp has been open throughout the drought, and now has more water at the site.

“We expect that the reservoir (Granbury) will rise in excess of 6 feet with continued inflows,” spokeswoman Judi Pierce of the Brazos River Authority said Monday afternoon. “However, that rise will be much slower than we’ve seen in the last 24 hours.”

Pierce said the gates at the dam were not open Sunday, and will not be open to pass the low environmental flow until the gage at Glen Rose reads below 32 cubic feet per second. Monday afternoon, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) gauge read more than 2,800 cubic feet per second at Glen Rose.

Above Lake Granbury on the Brazos River, the USGS gauge at Dennis showed water moving downstream at 1,550 cubic feet per second Monday afternoon. At its highest point Sunday, the gauge was reading 5,770 cubic feet per second.


“When Lake Granbury is full, all inflow must be released as it enters the lake – regardless of flow conditions downstream,” Pierce noted. “When Lake Granbury is less than full, the only releases are made for water supply and environmental flow purposes. No water supply releases have been made in over two years, only the daily environmental flow release.”

Pierce said the daily environmental release from Lake Granbury is about 33 acre-feet of water per day. “For comparison, evaporation from the lake each day at this time of year is about 100 acre-feet per day.”

The environmental flow release is made by opening a flood gate ½ foot for about 40 minutes each day, typically between 8 a.m. and noon, she explained.

This release is only made on days when the flow at the Glen Rose gauge downstream is less than 32 cubic feet per second.

Unlike Possum Kingdom Lake, Granbury does not have a mandated low flow, Pierce said.

“However, the BRA has been making a daily low flow release to maintain the environment of the river downstream since the 1980s,” she stated.

“Without these releases, parts of the river between Lake Granbury and Lake Whitney would have been dry for extended periods of time over the last several years.”

In fact, even with the environmental flow releases from Lake Granbury, less water flowed past the Glen Rose gauge in 2013 than any year since the gauge was established in 1923,” Pierce said.

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