2022 is going to rival 2011 in terms of drought intensity. All of the reservoirs in the Brazos Basin are below conservation level with system capacity now below 75%. To meet the needs of senior downstream water right holders, the Brazos River Authority (BRA) utilizes a supply strategy which alternates releases from some of the major reservoirs in the central or upper basin.
The WCID 1 primary water supply reservoir is currently at 583.4 elevation and releasing 450 cubic feet per second to augment flows in the Brazos River. Lake Belton which at this time is at 73% capacity (see reservoir data at https://www.swf-wc.usace.army.mil/reports/fly/html/BLNT2.html), is still in good shape compared to major water supply reservoirs to the north and to the south. Thursday September 29th, Lake Travis was at 50% and Lake Buchanan was at 62%. Under the Brazos River Authority Drought Contingency plan, Lake Belton doesn’t reach Stage 2 until the level falls to 578.7. Within the next fifteen to twenty days, the releases to augment Brazos River flows will cease from Lake Belton and that burden will move to another reservoir. At this time BRA staff do not anticipate the Stage 2 level will be reached for Lake Belton this fall. Fortunately, the daylight hours are decreasing along with the average temperatures. As these trends continue, evaporation will continue to decrease. If you go to the “Drought” tab at the Brazos River Authority website, www.brazos.org , you can find projections for all of the Brazos Reservoirs for normal or drought projections.
I hope this information is helpful. As always, please be water-wise and use water only as needed. Please help to conserve our limited supply.