As Texas continues to suffer through a debilitating drought that forecasters say isn’t likely to end soon, recreational oases such as Lake Granbury are becoming a flashpoint in the war for water.
Boats are stranded high and dry. Ramps are closed. Giant cracks mark the soil that once lay beneath the rippling waves.
The reason is obvious, according to the Brazos River Authority, the state agency that manages the lake: Drought.
Lake levels across North Texas are low and still dropping. Lake Bridgeport is more than 18 feet low. Possum Kingdom, also managed by the Brazos River Authority, is 11 feet below normal.
But at Lake Granbury, residents suspect that more than the extreme weather is at play.
“Oh, my God, are they ever commenting about it,” Hood County Judge Darrell Cockerham said last week. “Every time I cross the bridge, I look at those old railroad bridge pilings, and they’re sticking more and more out of the water.”
Matt Phillips, government relations manager for the Brazos River Authority, acknowledged that closing a power plant decreases the overall flow of water downstream. But, he said, Lake Granbury’s record-low levels can be attributed to the drought and nothing else.
“What we’re seeing above Possum Kingdom right now is unlike anything we’ve ever seen in recorded history,” Phillips said. “Parts of the Brazos above PK are completely dry.
“The bottom line is, we’re in a terrible drought.”