Brown County Water Improvement District #1 (BCWID) General Manager Dennis Spinks reported Tuesday night that although the lake is a little better off now than this time last year, Lake Brownwood has been losing water at a steady pace.
"One year ago on this day we were 2.3 feet lower than we are today so we are much better off today than we were a year ago by several thousand acre feet," Spinks said. "We have lost essentially a foot of elevation in the last month," Spinks said.
Currently, the level of Lake Brownwood is 1412.80 msl which is 12.2 feet below spillway level. Its rate of decline is about 1 tenth of a foot every three days, but that rate will increase as the surface area of the lake decreases, Spinks said.
The newest forecasts are not optimistic regarding significant rain over the next few months.
"What doesn't look good is the U.S. seasonal drought outlook," Spinks said. "I think that this chart shows that nearly all of Texas shows the drought to persist or intensify which is not very good. We are hoping that the forecasters will be wrong."
If the rate of decline continues with no significant rainfall, area residents may be facing even more outdoor water restrictions in the next few months.
"We are still in Stage 3 of our drought contingency plan; Stage 4 will not occur until we reach 1411 msl, so we have about another two feet of elevation until we reach Stage 4," Spinks said.
Stage 4 would require another 20% decrease in water consumption, but specific restrictions for customers in Stage 4 would be determined by local water providers such as cities and municipal water districts.
Currently, about 10 million gallons of water per day come out of Lake Brownwood for use by water customers with a spike on authorized watering days.
"About 6 million goes to municipal use and about 4 million goes to irrigation," Spinks said. "You can see on the Mondays and Tuesdays, which are the watering days, that water usage increases about 2-2.5 million gallons because of the watering days."