Our Water: Twin Buttes equalization channel soon to run dry


Soon to be inaccessible to boats, may challenge water supply needs

SAN ANGELO, Texas – The equalization channel between the north and south pools of Twin Buttes Reservoir is not full often. While south pool levels have been above the 1,926 feet mark needed for equalization, there is only a few feet left before the south pool drops below equalization level. Recently, the flow that has kept recreational boaters, anglers and water monitors happy. As it stands now, the shallow water presents a hazard to all but the most shallow draft boats.

“The equalization channel is a really neat area to take advantage of when it does have water,” said local kayaker Kendra Burleson. “It actually brings me back to my childhood when I would go fishing there with my dad, from my memories I don’t recall it ever being as dry as it got in my adult life. With it drying out I also love biking. So, the lake right now is suitable to bike long distances and then you get to see the effects of that drought.”

Beyond those who use the channel recreationally, water monitors find a dry equalization channel to be an inconvenience. With water in the channel, they do not have to portage around the gap between the two pools. The bigger concern though is the city of San Angelo, whose reliance on the north pool for water supply, can get tricky at times.

“The city of San Angelo has concerns, they’ve had to set up pumps to get water when it got so dry to pump water out of the south pool into the north pool when they were utilizing it water supply,” explained Scott McWilliams, Director of Operations for the Upper Colorado River Authority. “Because the south pool is fed by the South Concho River, which is a perennial stream and we get water in there all the time.”

While the north pool is fed by the Middle Concho River, via Dove Creek and Spring Creek, they’re not as reliable as the South Concho once evaporation and usage is factored in. All this means is that the historic period of the EQ channel being usable, may soon close again, and indefinitely.

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San Angelo is in standard conservation, which restricts outside watering to twice every seven days at no more than 1 inch per week. Watering is prohibited between noon and 6:00 p.m., but runoff of more than 150 feet down any street, gutter, alley or ditch is prohibited.

Report watering violations by clicking on https://www.cosatx.us/departments-services/water-conservation/report-a-water-violation or calling 325-657-4409. Do your part; be water smart!