Commissioners from Stephens and Young counties have added their voices to those of Palo Pinto County commissioners opposing changes to the draw-down formula between Possum Kingdom Lake and Lake Granbury.
The resolutions are basically the same — opposing any changes to the Halff study which established a 1:75 to 1 ratio for water levels at the two lakes — PK Lake down 1.75 feet to Granbury’s 1 foot when practicable.
“Whereas, the Stephens County Commissioners Court is acutely aware that the current prolonged drought has had and continues to have a severe negative Influence on the streams, rivers and lakes of this great State,” the Stephens County proclamation begins.
“Whereas, the Halff study completed and adopted by the Brazos River Authority In 2011, which created a protocol for the PK-Granbury-Whltney Reservoir Subsystem to balance the impacts of water supply operations and drought conditions fairly across the lakes while maintaining Brazos River Authority’s ability to meet water needs now and in the future is a proven working solution.”
The proclamation then cites the request from Lake Granbury entities requesting a new Halff Study be undertaken to change the reservoir levels to benefit the residents of Granbury and the adverse effect such a change would have on PK Lake.
“Therefore, be it resolved, that the Stephens County Commissioners Court strongly opposes any increase In the draw down ratio that currently exists between Possum Kingdom Lake and Lake Granbury,” the document reads.
“Adopted this 12th day of May, A.D., 2014, and by majority vote of this Court, It Is further ordered that copies of this Resolution be sent by the County Judge to State Senators Craig Estes and Brian Birdwell, State Representatives, Jim Keffer and Drew Springer, CEO Brazos River Authority Phil Ford and all members of the Board of Directors of the Brazos River Authority.”
Wording in all three proclamations was the same.
In a “white paper” presented to Brazos River Authority staff, Granbury property owners requested BRA change the lake level formula.
“They would like BRA to change the draw-down protocol from the Halff Study from the current 1.75:1 or 1:1 ratio (depending on conditions) to a ratio of up to 3.5:1 so that more water is released from PK to Lake Granbury,” reported Matt Phillips, BRA government and customer relations manager, in late April. “They would also like Granbury to be maintained at no lower than 690 feet mean sea level, which is about 2.5 feet below full. Another of their contentions is that, because there are more facilities located on Lake Granbury than on PK, Lake Granbury should be given more consideration due to greater economic impacts.”
The resolution from the three commissioner courts recognized the Halff study as “a proven working solution.”
The resolutions also contend that “an increase in ratio would only serve to adversely affect the already extremely low lake levels of Possum Kingdom Lake and deprive the residents and businesses of Possum Kingdom Lake of the enjoyment and livelihood afforded by the lake.”
Each of the resolutions passed with a 5-0 vote.
“The BRA has no plans to make any changes to the draw-down protocol at this time,” Phillips added. “We would only consider doing so with full participation from individuals representing interests at PK and Granbury.”