KBTX - From the Ground Up - Headlines

From the Ground Up - Drought Impact on Lakes

The old "drought of record" that is used for comparison for any droughts we've experienced since the nineteen fifties is in danger of being replaced by the current one ongoing in the Brazos Valley and across most of the state.

"It's interesting, yesterday, a rabbit ran across the bottom of this pond. A cotton tail was out there eating the green shoots around the edge, and this pond hasn't been empty since the day it was built twenty years ago."

Alan Rudd is a sport fish farmer in Burleson County and says dry conditions across the state have reduced lakes and ponds to historic lows.

"Lack of rain has an evil twin and it's increased evaporation. These two, low rainfall and high evaporation tend to show up like a couple of mean brothers, you know they're always there at the same time causing problems."
Wind just makes the problem worse.
"When we have very windy years like we've had this year, at the same time that the humidity is low, we're losing anywhere from a third to a half an inch of water per day off of the lakes and ponds here on our fish farm, and it has created a lot of problems. It's hard to pump enough ground water to keep up with that much evaporation."

Many older lakes are at levels that haven't been seen since the nineteen fifties.

"This particular lake right now is eight feet below full pool. It's a fifty five acre lake when it's full, and it is scrunched down to probably in the range of twenty surface acres, and it's just catastrophically low, and we're losing a foot of water every forty two days."
A little rain won't solve this problem.

"We're beyond praying for rain, we're praying for a flood, and I try to wear my rubber boots every day, because if you're going to pray for a flood, you've got to show some faith that it's actually going to happen."

I'm Ashley Batey, looking at Brazos Valley agriculture, from the ground up.


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