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Water School

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Why are there so many man-made lakes in Texas?

Natural lakes have been a rare commodity in Texas. In fact, the state had only one natural lake, Caddo Lake in East Texas, that was formed by a log jam.  A permanent dam was installed at the lake in the early 20th century.A large number of the state’s remaining lakes were made in response to the occasional propensity of Texas’ usually tranquil rivers to flood during heavy rains.Texas’ early history is filled with accounts of devastating floods causing loss of human life an...
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What is mean sea level?

Mean sea level is the average height of the ocean’s surface, between high and low tide. It is used as a standard in reckoning land and other elevations such as lake levels. A lake’s conservation pool will be measured as a certain number of feet above mean sea level.
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I’ve heard that lakes have a “lifetime.” What does that mean?

Texas streams and rivers are in constant motion and the waters they pour into our lakes carry with them a continuous but varying amount of sediment.When the water is slowed or stopped as it runs into a lake or by a dam, the sediment drops to the lake’s bottom. This sediment builds up year after year and at some point, fills the lake to a point it can no longer continue to serve its purpose in flood control or water supply. This would be the end of the lake’s effective “lifetime.”  The averag...
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What is yield?

Yield refers to the amount of water produced by a water treatment process or the quantity of water that can be collected for a given use from surface or groundwater sources. The yield may vary depending on the proposed use, the development plan, location of the water source and economic considerations.
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What is a flood pool?

A flood pool is a specified area within a flood control lake and the surrounding land that may only be inundated during periods of flooding. This allows the flow of waters to be regulated and released in a safe manner.
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What is a 100-year flood?

A 100-year flood is a flood event that it has a 1 percent chance of happening in any given year. The term “100-year” is a measure of a flood’s size, not how often it occurs. Although statistically unlikely, several 100-year floods can occur within the same year or a few short years. It is also called the base flood.
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The information provided on this site is intended as background on water within the Brazos River basin. There should be no expectation that this information is all encompassing, complete or in any way examines every aspect of this very complex natural resource.

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