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What is a water supply lake?

As the name implies, water supply lakes are built primarily to provide a place to store water for Texas residents, communities, businesses, agriculture, industry and others who all depend on water to survive and thrive. Such lakes are especially vital during periods of drought, when other sources of water may be limited.  Many of Texas’ flood control lakes serve a secondary purpose as a water storage facility.  However, reservoirs designed for water supply, do not necessarily also provide flood...
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What is a dam? Are all dams alike?

A dam is a structure designed to hold back water in a lake, river, stream or other waterbody. Large dams typically include gates or other outlet devices that can be raised or lowered, opened or closed to allow variable amounts of water to pass downstream or leave the lake. The path the water takes to leave the reservoir through the gates is called a spillway.There are several styles of dams used for different purposes to meet specific conditions at the dam site.  The design of the dam is in...
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What is “beneficial use?”

Beneficial use represents the amount of water necessary when reasonable intelligence and diligence are used for a stated purpose authorized by a water rights permit. Such uses include watering crops, municipal, mining, and industrial use.Benficial use results in a gain or benefit to the user and society, which is consistent with state law. Most states recognize the following uses as beneficial: domestic and municipal, industrial, irrigation, mining, hydroelectric power, navigation, stock raising...
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What is salinity?

Salinity or chloride concentration, refers to the amount of salt dissolved or contained in water. The higher the salinity, the less useful the water is for human consumption, agriculture and other uses.The Brazos River particularly in the upper part of the watershed, contains a high amount of salinity due to a naturally occurring underground salt deposits located northwest of Abilene.  As a result, surface water in some areas of the Brazos River must be treated to remove the amount of salt befor...
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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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How do you build a lake (reservoir)?

While the process may vary for each location, here’s a general outline of how a reservoir goes from idea to reality.Once a need for water in an area is established, a site for the reservoir must be chosen. Several factors go into this decision, including nearness to a source of demand, a feeder supply of water (such as a river or creek), the geological suitability of the area and engineering constraints. Other factors considered could include impact on the environment, the local population...
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What is a flood control lake?

The great majority of our lakes (reservoirs) in Texas were built to help tame the state’s rivers and streams, which from time to time would swell beyond their banks and cause devastating floods. Such was the case with the Brazos River. History books record numerous destructive floods took place in the Brazos basin before a series of dams were built along its length to create reservoirs to hold periodic flood waters.
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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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