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Falcon Lake Levels Dropping at Alarming Rate

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Posted: Jun 20, 2012 6:14 PM

Updated: Jun 20, 2012 6:30 PM

FALCON LAKE - Dropping water levels at Falcon Lake could spell trouble for local residents and the entire Rio Grande Valley.

Expert said water levels at the lake have dropped 40 feet. Visitors must walk on a dry lake bed before reaching water.

"It affects the whole town. A lot of people come all over the place to come fish here," said Robert Amaya, who owns a bait shop near Falcon lake. "They don't have a place to launch their boats and get on the water."

The lake is more than a fishing hotspot; it serves as the only water source for most of the Valley.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS meteorologist Tim Smith said the lake is fading quickly.

"It really is almost disappearing," Smith said.

"Falcon is still a big lake. There's still a lot of water there," Smith said. "But areas that are supposed to be water front lots are not exactly water front right now."

Smith said the lake's level has been dropping since late 2010.

"We're at about 55 percent capacity in the two reservoirs (Falcon and Amistad) combined," Smith said. "Mexico is down to about 30 percent. ... That is significant."

The problem, experts said, is the lack of rain and irrigation.

"We'll make it," Amaya said. "I pray every night (for rain)."

Topics: falcon lake, rio grande valley, drought, fishing

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