Tadpole's Outdoor Blog

December 2, 2011

City of Houston orders end to Lake Conroe water release

Filed under: Misc — Freddie Keel @ 6:27 am

The SJRA is not selling water from Lake Conroe to the City of Houston and receives no economic benefit from the release. Lake Conroe was built as a joint venture between the City of Houston and the SJRA, with the City owning two-thirds of the water rights in the reservoir, and the SJRA owning the other one-third. The City of Houston is legally entitled to use the water that they own in Lake Conroe. As spelled out in the joint venture agreement, the SJRA is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the reservoir, so when the City wishes to use its water, it notifies the SJRA to release the specified amount, which then flows down the San Jacinto River to Lake Houston.hose not familiar with Lake Conroe and City of Houston (the release began on 08/16/11):

From The Conroe Courier

By Howard Roden —  12/1/11

LAKE CONROE — For the first time since Aug. 16 there was silence at the gates of the Lake Conroe Dam Wednesday.

With Lake Houston nearing capacity, and the possibility of rainfall starting Friday and continuing through Monday, the city of Houston ordered an end to the release of water from Lake Conroe.

The San Jacinto River Authority shut the gates at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

The SJRA began releasing water from Lake Conroe and into the West Fork of the San Jacinto River on Aug. 16 to replenish Lake Houston. The city of Houston reservoir had fallen close to 8 feet below its standard level of 44 feet above mean sea level, threatening the intakes to city’s water treatment plants.

The city, which still has access to two-thirds of Lake Conroe’s surface water, began pumping 150 million gallons daily at Houston’s request.

During that span, Houston’s demand reached 165 mgd and fell to 60 mgd last week when rainfall helped raise the surface level at Lake Houston.

While the relief on Lake Conroe is a positive move, if the drought conditions continue, it is possible that Houston could order the release of water into Lake Houston again.

As of Wednesday afternoon Lake Houston was 2.7 feet below 44 msl, said SJRA Deputy General Manager Jace Houston.

“It’s coming back steady over there,” he said.

The current level on Lake Conroe is 192.83 feet above mean sea level. However, it’s slightly more than eight feet below its normal mean sea level of 201 feet.

The National Weather Service has forecast a chance of rain Friday, followed by 30 percent Saturday, 50 percent Saturday and Sunday, and 40 percent for Monday.

“We’re hoping to see some raises around the lake soon,” Houston said. “With the forecasts at least we’re headed in the right direction.


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