HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Texas’ system of reservoir showed a slight increase in water levels Thursday, compared to a week ago.
The Texas Water Development Board updated its data, showing all the state’s reservoirs combined put the state’s water supply at slightly higher than 68% capacity.
But a year ago, the state’s water storage was 15.5% higher than it is now, according to the TWDB. The difference from then and now is a little shy of 2.8 million acre-feet.
“An acre-foot is the amount of water it would take to cover an acre of land one foot deep in water — that’s a football field minus the end zones, one foot deep in water,” states the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department on its Texas: The State of Water website.
Does having nearly 2.8 million acre-feet less water over 2021 mean Texans have less water to flood out Friday night football a few million times? Yes. But more seriously, that amount of water represents what could be consumed by 84,000 Texas football fans every year.
“Americans use at least 100 gallons or more per day,” TPWD stated online. “Texas is the second largest user of water in the United States. Some Texas cities average more than 250 gallons per person per day (33 cubic feet).”
Yet, Texans who go to their nearest reservoirs could witness vastly different scenarios, depending where they live in the state. Some reservoirs are completely filled while others are puddles. The state’s 68% water level on Thursday reflects the combination of all these reservoirs’ levels.
The 10 driest reservoirs in Texas*
The driest in the state is the Palo Duro Reservoir, about 100 miles north of Amarillo in the Texas Panhandle. Palo Duro only has 275 acre-feet of water, enough to quench the annual needs of about 8 Texans.
Palo Duro Reservoir
J B Thomas
North of Amarillo
New Mexico (Serves Texas)
The 10 wettest reservoirs in Texas*
There are reservoirs with more water, simply because they are physically larger. However, these are the reservoirs with the highest percentages against capacity.
Mountain Creek Lake
Squaw Creek Reservoir
Wright Patman Lake
Lake Lyndon B. Johnson
BA Steinhagen Lake
Near Dallas/Fort Worth
Near Glen Rose
*Note: The comparisons are based on each reservoir’s percentage against its total capacity, according to data provided by the Texas Water Development Board.