Our Water: Lake Nasworthy and water conservation

News

According to the National Weather Service, October was the second wettest month on record for San Angelo. That has helped increase area lake levels. City officials say increasing demand will mean more conservation and new water sources.

Beginning in the 1930s Lake Nasworthy, which occasionally releases water into the Concho River, was utilized as a municipal and agricultural water source for San Angelo. To San Angelo and the Concho Valley, the reservoir represents something very important — the idea that water enables the surrounding communities to exist and grow.

“Through time and through education you can change people’s perspective to realize that there is a very viable option for them in conserving water,” said Chuck Brown, Director of the Upper Colorado River Authority. “And, it’s also very important as we grow as a state and as a city into the future with a larger population.”

The severity with which the 2011-2012 drought impacted the water reserves of the city gave rise to a need to deeply reassess the projections of both water supply and population growth for the area. As such the city continues to pursue new options for water.

Allison Strube, Director of Water Utilities for the city of San Angelo expanded on this, saying “[…] the city of San Angelo, with it’s population projections and those type of things, we do need to be bringing on other types of water sources to not only supplement [for] the drought that has plagued our surface water sources, but just to meet those increasing demands.” 

With the recent rains, unlike when Twin Buttes was so low that it could not release water into Lake Nasworthy causing what is supposed to be a constant-level lake to drop, reservoir water levels are presently restored to “Standard Conservation,” meaning that more than 24 months of water is available for use.

The recent rainfall runoff restored the Twin Buttes reservoir so well, that for the first time in nearly a decade, its north and south pools have equalized and can now be considered one body of water. 

LAKE NASWORTHY

Lake Nasworthy, built on the South Concho River, was constructed by the West Texas Utilities Company in 1929–30 to supply municipal, industrial, and irrigation water to San Angelo. An electrical power plant stood for decades near the current location of an electrical substation.

In 2010, Knickerbocker Road’s span crossing the lake at approximately its midpoint was named Veterans Memorial Bridge.

The lake is named after John R. Nasworthy, who raised race horses on the land. Nasworthy sold the land to the city of San Angelo in May 1950. The Nasworthy Dam is an earthfill dam, designed by Floyd and Lockridge of Dallas, with a crest length of 5,480 feet (including spillways) at an elevation of 1,879 feet above mean sea level.

Surface area of the lake is 1,596 acres at the top of the collapsible floodgates, and normal capacity is 13,990 acre-feet. Twin Buttes Reservoir, completed in February 1963, regulates the flow into Lake Nasworthy from the Middle and South Concho rivers. The unregulated watershed of Pecan Creek also feeds the lake.



For the latest statistics on the six Concho Valley reservoirs, please click below:

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