OUR WATER: Ample water flows downstream throughout Concho Valley

Local News

Rising summer temperatures highlight ongoing need for conservation

SAN ANGELO, TX – Oak Creek Reservoir, Lake Winters and Ballinger City Lake are all presently at capacity and releasing water through their relief spillways. Though Oak Creek is controlled by the city of Sweetwater near Abilene, it is still part of the Colorado River system, just like Winters and Ballinger.

“Our recharge comes out of Elm Creek,” explains Winters Water Superintendent Todd Choate. “So, South of Abilene all the way down through Bradshaw into our old reservoir. Then out the overflow, it continues down and eventually ends up in Ballinger.”

It is thanks to that fact that Ballinger is enjoying water levels they haven’t seen in two decades. “Currently we’re in really good shape water wise for the city of Ballinger,” said Randy Everett, Water Treatment Plant Operator for the city of Ballinger. “We haven’t been like this probably in 20 years with water. All creeks are still running, so we’re basically just balanced out where what’s coming in is what’ going out.”

Thanks to the higher than average rainfall through the end of 2018 and first half of 2019, all three bodies of water have contributed to O.H. Ivie. As Summer draws on and usage rises and evaporation takes effect, that might change.

“I don’t know if O.H. Ivie has reached the negative point yet on gaining water or if it’s balanced out,” said Everett. “But, with summertime coming on pretty hot and heavy I’m sure these creeks are going to slow down a little bit without any added rainfall.”

That’s why it’s important to comply with a water conservation mindset, as much of the Concho Valley is still largely dependent on surface reservoirs.

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