Record low elevation at Tom Steed hit in 2013

Last updated: January 11. 2014 10:11AM - 1121 Views
by Michael Bush, managing editor

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According to District Manager Will Archer of the Mountain Park Master Park Master Conservancy District, lake depletion at the Tom Steed reservoir is 1.85. That means we are now 1.85 feet lower than we were January 1, 2013.

Archer said that the lake has come up and down between, but from start to finish, the water level is down at Tom Steed.

Because of the cool temperatures during the winter season, “Evaporation is down, and City use is down,” Archer said.

He said evaporation is the greatest consumer of water.

Archer said that Altus has used 35% less water in 2013 than in 2012, and that Frederick used 16% less water than in 2012. Snyder used 23% less, and they were 215 acre feet below their annual allocation. Altus was 6,513 below their annual allocation. Frederick was 687 acre feet below.

MPMCD recorded 1.5 inches of precipitation in December, with the high temperature being 74, and low being 4 degrees.

There was no Bretch Diversion inflow in December. High elevation for December was 1,397.99, and low was 1,397.84.

On an average winter day, water delivery is between 3.5 and 6.8 million gallons to Altus, Snyder and Frederick. According to Archer, Hackberry hasn’t used any water in 18 months.

Archer said that 39 percent of the annual allocation was used. Annual allocation for Tom Steed is 16,100 acre feet. Annual allocation used was 6,177 acre feet. 3,476 acre feet of water was saved through water conservation in 2013.

Archer said that their highest elevation for the year was in January with 1,399.70. Their lowest was 1,396.50 which occurred in September and was also the lake’s record low elevation.

According to Archer, at the end of December 2013, elevation was 1,397.84. The reservoir depleted 1.85 feet in 2013.

“Things are looking a little better due to the fact of water conservation, cooler temps, and a rain fall that we’ve had in the last several months,” Archer said. “We still need to conserve water until we get the rain to fill the reservoir up.”

Archer is waiting for the Bureau of Reclamation to issue a report later in January with an updated life expectancy model based upon having no increase of water inflow.

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