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What are drought classifications?

Every year since 1999, the US Drought Monitor has issued maps that include levels of dryness and drought severity.  These maps note different classes of drought severity by color, ranging from D0, abnormally dry, to D4, exceptionally dry.  These maps are used to help determine and assess the drought conditions within the Brazos River basin and when or if a drought contingency plan should be implemented. For more information on drought classification and severity, view the video below.&...
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What is the water cycle?

What is the water cycle?

Rainfall that stays in the liquid state becomes runoff that makes up streams and rivers.  Water that is not used for some purpose eventually flows to the ocean.  Water that evaporates from the oceans then condenses and eventually falls back to Earth in the form of rain. This is also known as the hydrologic cycle. The water cycle is the continuous movement of water in the atmosphere, over the land, and in the ocean. Through precipitation, water condenses, forming a liquid and fal...
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How fast does the river flow? How is it measured?

How fast does the river flow? How is it measured?

A rivers speed is measured by cubic feet per second (cfs) or how quickly a cubic foot of water passes by a set point for a period of one second. The set point is usually a gauge managed by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) set at intervals along a water course. You can find how fast the Brazos River and its tributaries flow by going to this link.
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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 types of contaminates can be found in drinking water?

What types of contaminates can be found in drinking water?

No water is completely pure. Contaminates, both naturally occurring and manmade, occur at differing levels depending on your location throughout the world.In the United States, federal and state regulations set standards for the maximum amount of contaminants allowed for water to be considered safe for drinking. Regulated contaminants include a variety of microbes and substances that at certain levels could cause adverse health effects.Though most treated drinking water is safe for consumption, ...
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What is an acre-foot?

An acre-foot is commonly used to measure water volume. It is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) with one foot of water.  One acre foot is equal to 325,851 gallons of water.
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What is streamflow?

Streamflow is the water discharge in a natural channel.  Streamflow is measured in cubic feet per second (cfs) and monitored by the United States Geological Survey. You may view the stream gages in the Brazos River basin by clicking here.
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What is runoff?

What is runoff?

Runoff is that part of precipitation, snow melt or irrigation water that does not sink into the ground but moves from the land into streams or other surface water. It can carry pollutants from the land or air to its destination waters.
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What is in untreated water that can make you sick?

What is in untreated water that can make you sick?

Water drawn from rivers, lakes stream and other bodies of water as well as groundwater can be contaminated and could make you sick if you drink it without treating it first. Waterborne diseases, caused by microorganisms that live in untreated water, can cause diarrhea, nausea vomiting and other symptoms, and in extreme cases, death.Many of these pathogens infect water through contact with human and animal feces, carried there by runoff or seeping into the water supply from leaking sewage or sept...
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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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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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