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Polk County Enterprise - Local News

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Lake Livingston basin levels holding steady



LIVINGSTON — Summer months in Texas are not usually accompanied with an abundance of rain and this year has been no different. Trinity River Authority Lake Livingston Project Manager Mark Waters says while the rain earlier this week did little to raise the water level, the lake has maintained a healthy depth for this time of year. "Yesterday we recorded at .47 inches of rain and our lake level held steady; it did not decrease any (Monday), Waters said. "It's just held for 24 hours. It had been decreasing anywhere from one-third of an inch to an inch a day. That's due to the evaporation and downstream requirements." The downstream requirements are what keeps the Trinity River Authority busy and provides water for much of southeast Texas. "It's mainly the city of Houston," Waters said. "As water goes to the pumping station at Dayton that's operated by the Coastal Water Authority and most of that water goes to the city of Houston. We also provide water to CLCND (Chambers Liberty Crosby Navigation District) and they recently started pumping water into Lake Anahuac can from the Trinity River. It is used for municipal purposes and the other one is Devers, most of that is rice field irrigation. Those are the three downstream requirements. What we're releasing is 1,250 CFS (Cubic Feet per Second) and that is almost exactly the downstream demand." To get a better idea of the water flow, one cubic foot per second is about 7.4805 gallons. That means around 9,350 gallons per second are released to meet the demand. "The normal lake level is 131 feet above mean sea level. Right now we're at 130.77 feet," Waters said. "We're 3 to 4 inches low right now. For this time of year, if we're several inches low in May there is concern. But, to be several inches low in July like this is very typical. We watch this every single day and we do have correspondence stream diverters to make sure we're covering what they need and that there's no excessive water going downstream. When we go under pool level of 131 feet, that's when the reservoir is actually fulfilling the purpose it was here for. In other words, there's not enough water in the river to provide for the downstream entities. That's why Lake Livingston is here. It annoys people when the lake starts going down, but if it weren't for this happening, it wouldn't be here in the first place."


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