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Why do lake levels fluctuate?

Despite a common misconception, there are very few “constant level lakes,” and none operated by the Brazos River Authority.  A constant level lake is one that is artificially managed to remain at a specific level essentially by using another source of water to replenish losses due to evaporation, etc.Several factors can affect a lake’s level and only some are within human control. The chief factor that is not controllable is the impact of climate.  Evaporation is a constant, natural part of t...
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What is Possum Kingdom Lake?

What is Possum Kingdom Lake?

Possum Kingdom Lake, located on the main stem of the Brazos River northwest of Fort Worth, was the first water supply reservoir constructed in the Brazos River basin. Located in Young, Palo Pinto, Stephens, and Jack counties, the construction of the Morris Sheppard Dam was begun in 1938 and completed in 1941 with the aid of the Works Progress Administration Program.Possum Kingdom Lake covers an area of 16,716 acres with 219 miles of shoreline. The reservoir holds approximately 750,000 acre feet ...
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What is Lake Granbury?

What is Lake Granbury?

DeCordova Bend Dam and Lake Granbury were constructed by the Brazos River Authority and are maintained and operated by the BRA as a source of water supply.Construction of the project began in December 1966 and was completed in September 1969. The reservoir provides 129,011 acre-feet of storage capacity for conservation of flood and storm waters to meet requirements of municipalities, industries, agriculture and mining.  The reservoir has a permitted yield of 64,712 acre feet.  To view the state ...
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Where is Lake Limestone?

Where is Lake Limestone?

Lake Limestone, located on the upper Navasota River in Limestone, Robertson and Leon counties, is a water supply reservoir built by the Brazos River Authority in 1978. Construction of the reservoir was made possible through the sale of water to Texas Electric Utilities to be used by their lignite-burning electric plants in the area.  To view a copy of the Lake Limestone state permit, click here.Water from the reservor is supplied for similar use at a NRG steam-electric plant just east of Lake Li...
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What is constant level?

Constant level is a term given to the practice of maintaining a body of water at a specific elevation.  No natural body of water has a constant level.  While some fluctuate more than others, all natural bodies of water change on a daily basis, some rapidly during floods.  Few man-made reservoirs have the ability to be maintained at a constant level as evaporation, drought, water use and/or flooding affect elevation levels.
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What is Allens Creek Reservoir?

Allens Creek Reservoir is a planned water storage lake permitted for construction on Allens Creek, a tributary of the Brazos River, in Austin County. The permit to build the lake was originally issued to Houston Lighting and Power (Reliant Energy) in 1974 by the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission, now known as the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).The reservoir was originally to have served as a cooling lake for a nuclear power plant. When Reliant Energy abandoned plan...
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What is a lake's elevation?

The height above mean sea level that water in a reservoir has reached. Brazos River Authority and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lakes are actually reservoirs, or parts of the Brazos River basin impounded by dams. (A free-flowing river is measured in stages, that is, by depth from the river bed to the surface.)
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Why are some lakes/rivers clearer than others?

There are a number of factors that may affect water clarity.  The chief factor in the clarity of lakes and rivers in Texas is sediment. The more sediment in a stream or body of water, the cloudier it appears. This factor can vary depending on geography and climate. Some areas naturally have more sediment drawn from the surrounding land, particularly agricultural areas, where soil is often broken up and exposed. Water tends to be cloudier during rainier seasons when runoff carries topsoil and oth...
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What is a watershed? A subwatershed?

A watershed is the land area or topographic region that drains into a particular stream, river or lake. This land feature can be identified by tracing a line on a map along the highest elevations between two areas.Large watersheds may contain hundreds or thousands of smaller subwatersheds that drain into the river or other water body. The Brazos River watershed encompasses more than 42,000 square miles and includes many smaller streams and rivers with their own smaller watersheds.For a map of su...
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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.

If you have questions about a post or would like additional information, please contact us or call 888-922-6272.

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