Weekend rain adds to Ft. Worth lakes, but not enough

Nov. 10, 2000
Last weekend's downpours raised the water level of Lake Arlington by more than a foot but were not enough to bring the lake back to normal or ease voluntary water restrictions.

ARLINGTON, Texas, Nov. 7, 2000--Last weekend's downpours raised the water level of Lake Arlington by more than a foot but were not enough to bring the lake back to normal or ease voluntary water restrictions.

The lake level increased 1.17 feet, from an elevation of 541.36 feet at 6:30 a.m. Friday to 542.53 feet at 6:30 a.m. Monday, said city Water Utility Director Charles Anderson. However, the lake is still 7.47 feet below its normal level of 550 feet.

Wayne Owen, planning and development manager for the Tarrant Regional Water District, said officials recorded 2.5 inches of rain at Bridgeport Lake, 3.5 inches at Eagle Mountain Lake, 2.1 inches at Lake Arlington and 3.4 inches at Lake Benbrook from midnight Thursday to midnight Sunday.

"We were overjoyed at the rainfall. We did catch an attractive amount of water," Owen said. "But we still need some replenishing."

District officials requested water conservation measures in October out of concern for plunging lake levels this summer and fall. Owen said they will remain in effect until the lakes fill closer to their capacities. Lake Arlington, for example, plunged to 48 percent of capacity in October and is now at 64 percent, he said.

The city of Arlington receives its water from the district's Richland-Chambers and Cedar Creek reservoirs as well as from Lake Arlington. As of 8 a.m. Monday, Owen said, the Richland-Chambers Reservoir was at 312.94 feet, 2.06 feet below its normal 315 feet, while the Cedar Creek Reservoir was at 318.67 feet, 3.33 feet below its norm of 322 feet.

Judy Marsicano, a spokeswoman for the Fort Worth office of the Army Corps of Engineers, also said this weekend's rains were insufficient.

"It will take a lot more rain than this, but any amount we get we're happy with," Marsicano said. "If we continue to get normal rainfall, it will still take a couple of years to get back to normal lake levels."

Marsicano said Lake Grapevine rose more than 1.3 feet and Lewisville Lake rose a foot during the past seven days,

"We won't know exactly what the rain has done for our lakes for another couple of days because there will be continued runoff," Marsicano said.

Despite ample rainfall the past few days, the lake levels are still low. Lake Grapevine is almost 10 feet below normal, Lewisville Lake is more than 13.5 feet low. During the past week, more than 3.5 inches of rain has fallen at Lewisville Lake and Lake Grapevine, Marsicano said.

Arlington's voluntary water restrictions include:

  • Limit outside watering to once every five days.
  • No outside watering between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Golf course fairways are to be watered once every five days.
  • All governmental offices are asked to reduce nonessential water use.

Staff writer Mitch Mitchell contributed to this report.

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