GBRA Eyes the Tropics for Relief from Canyon Lake’s Water Woes

Image of Comal Park courtesy of the Water Oriented Recreation District of Canyon Lake.

If only Tropical Storm Alberto had veered further to the north this week.

Speaking at the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority’s (GBRA) monthly meeting Thursday, Manager of Engineering Charles Hickman said the Guadalupe River basin’s best chance of relief lies in the tropics.

“Really, there’s not much else in the forecast,” he said during a recap of the impact of recent weather conditions on lake and river levels.

Hickman leads the monitoring of flow conditions throughout the Guadalupe River basin and interprets hydrologic events and data for GBRA.

The public corporation controls releases from Canyon Dam when Canyon Lake’s elevation is at 909 feet or below. GBRA sells water to downstream customers in Comal, Hays, Caldwell, Guadalupe, Gonzales, DeWitt, Victoria, Calhoun and Refugio counties.

Canyon Lake’s current elevation is 885.43 feet. The lake is 57% full. Stage 3 severe water shortage conditions are triggered at 885 feet or when the reservoir is at 56% capacity.

The good news, Hickman said, is that the upper basin near Spring Branch is fairly saturated from a ‘rain bomb’ within the past 30 days.

“We got up to about 450 cubic feet per second (cfs) and that came from a real small, like a 1 1/2-inch kind of rain bomb that happened really quick,” he said. “I think the watershed’s ready to respond if we can get some good rain events up there. But this is not the type of event that really helps us kind of get on an upper twin trend for Canyon. We had a few days where we kind of stopped the decline but (we’re) still on a declining trend headed toward those Stage 3 conditions.”

At Stage 3 wholesale customers like the Texas Water Company will be asked to take “voluntary measures” to reduce non-essential water use by 15%.

(Editor’s Note: The original image that accompanied this story, credited to GBRA, has been removed at the request of the GBRA.)

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  1. Voluntary restrictions are helpful but, slow or stop the building and the added draw on the water…

  2. The 1800 homes that are going to be built thanks to the commissioners court approving the building despite people begging them no to. In addition to all the building going on at the lake the cities that are buying water are building also.

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