Water Levels Nearly Double at Reservoirs Due to Recent Rains

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ZAPATA – Recent rains are having an impact on our reservoirs; Falcon Lake levels are nearly double from where they were at three months ago.

With harvest underway for citrus, local growers told CHANNEL 5 NEWS water from these reservoirs are key to keeping their fruit growing.

Local citrus grower Fred Karle said it was a rough summer, "Things got critical in some districts, we had to swap water around from other places in some of the water districts."

CHANNEL 5 NEWS first talked with Karle back in August, where he said during the dry summer, irrigation was difficult and was costing growers more money. With recent rains, it's a different story.

"Last year we didn't get hardly any rain in September. October we did finally get some this year so we're in better shape," said Karle.

The irrigation water Karle uses comes from reservoirs located at Amistad and Falcon lakes. They aren't the only ones who rely on their water.

"Most of the water that we use here comes from Amistad which is near Del Rio and falcon, which is between the Valley and Laredo. Those two reservoirs feed into the Rio Grande and that's where most of our water comes from the irrigation; our drinking water, our city water," said KRGV chief meteorologist Tim Smith.

Recent rains have helped to increase the Falcon Lake reservoir after taking a hit this dry summer.

Last year at this time, the Falcon Lake reservoir levels were at about 35.5 percent.

After a dry spring and summer, levels dropped down to about 25 percent, then due to the recent rains, it was brought up to about 52 percent.

According to Smith, we don't want the reservoirs to be completely full.

"If the lakes are almost full and you get a big rain event, there's nowhere for that water to go," explained Smith.

This could lead to flooding.

Right now, Karle said recent rains were key for growers, "It's been great to finally get caught up. We're really in about a two-year drought if you average everything historically."

He hopes this winter we’ll also see a good amount of rain.

The Amistad Lake reservoirs, which is much larger then Falcon Lake, saw a slight increase in the last few months. The water there rose about eight feet since August.

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