Our Water: local impact of federal shutdown


The partial federal shutdown is having a local impact, even if indirectly. Repairs to the O.H. Ivie lake level gauge have been delayed by the furlough of several federal agencies including the United States Geological Survey.

Chuck Brown, the director of operations at the Upper Colorado River Authority explained. “The O.H. Ivie gauge began malfunctioning at about 1P.M. on December the 20th. And it’ll show you that it’s a malfunction as it isn’t giving you the acre-feet or the elevation contents that it’s gained. The USGS operates all the gauges in both the lakes and the rivers in Texas.”

That means that until the gauge is repaired, Brown and the river authority have to track reservoir gains long-hand, extrapolating the lake gains from river inflow data. So the UCRA waits to see if the minimal staff left running the USGS can repair the gauge soon.

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