By Chris Agee | email@example.com
The city of Mineral Wells, which relies on Lake Palo Pinto for its water supply, still enjoys a relatively good water level, according to City Manager Lance Howerton.
As of Thursday, he said, the lake is three feet below its peak level of 867 feet.
Though diminished, that level remains three feet higher than the threshold of 861 feet, which would trigger a voluntary restriction of water usage.
“For this time of year and given the weather conditions, we feel we’re in excellent shape,” Howerton said.
Currently, the city has not called for residents to restrict water usage, though officials continue to keep a close watch on water levels, he said.
“Based on what we’re seeing at the lake presently ... possibly we could be in stage one of our drought contingency plan in September or October,” he said, clarifying that, even in that case, water restriction would be voluntary.
Despite the city’s situation, Howerton said the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is taking a more hands-on approach to monitoring water availability than in years past and could possibly issue a widespread suspension of water rights.
“They have taken this step already in the Brazos River Basin,” he said. “I’m not familiar with them doing that in the past.”
At this point, there are no mandates for municipalities to ration water usage, though “the possibility exists that TCEQ could compel certain levels of drought contingency actions to be taken throughout the state,” Howerton said.
Current studies show the region’s rainfall is more than 11 inches below average, which has contributed to a drastic decrease in ground water levels.
If rainfall does not replenish depleted aquifers, experts say even communities not using well water will feel the effects.
According to Dr. Bob Patterson, general manager of Upper Trinity Groundwater Conservation District, reduced ground water levels already affect communities relying on well water.
When levels reach a certain low point, though, he said water supply will suffer no matter the source.
“In the last quarter, we have seen as much as a 20-foot drop in the water levels in the aquifers,” Patterson said, adding that reduction is four times higher than in a typical summer.
The problem has been exacerbated during an unusually hot and dry summer, he said, but the current situation was set in motion several months ago.
“Most of the time [aquifers recharge] during the fall and winter time,” Patterson explained. “This year, we had no recharge.”
In the end, he said, all water sources can be traced back to aquifers, which means both supply and quality will likely suffer without an influx of rain.
“To be sure, the lakes and aquifers are all hydraulically connected,” Patterson said, “and with adequate flows, it fills them up.”
He said levels naturally even out through typical season changes but, in years such as this, a domino effect can lead to critical conditions.
“When you do not have a good recharge, of course it affects the aquifer directly,” Patterson said, “but it very definitely affects lake and river water.”
In certain cases, such as in one area between Weatherford and Granbury, natrual gas can enter the water supply in addition to mineral such as sulphur and iron because, Patterson explained, “water moves to lower pressure areas just like gas does.”
Many factors contribute to the level of ground water, according to District Conservationist Myron Merz of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, though an extended drought and hot summer have combined to create a major drop in the amount of water available to residents in the county.
“We’re kind of limited anyway in Palo Pinto County,” Merz said, adding the county has a minimal number of minor aquifers available to provide a constant water source.
In a normal year, factors such as oil and gas exploration and natural resources used by the region’s high levels of brush can drain water levels, though Merz said this year the situation is worse.
He said his agency focuses on water levels as they affect livestock, adding many reserve tanks have dried up in the area because of the limited water supply.
Another side effect of reduced ground water levels is decreased water purity, Merz said.
“Any time the water level goes down like that, all the minerals are more concentrated,” he noted.
Despite lack of rain Lake Palo Pinto still 3 feet above first conservation stage.
By Chris Agee | firstname.lastname@example.org
- News Toppers
Zombies take over downtown: Filming began Wednesday for apocalyptic movie ‘Daylight’s End’
Thursday and Friday parts of downtown Mineral Wells will succumb to an invasion of plague-stricken, blood-thirsty marauders.Continued ...
Wild goose hunt?: Country club looking at other means of removing Canadian geese
A large flock of Canadian geese that have roosted at Holiday Hills Country Club might have management stuck like a duck.Continued ...
Setting the stage: Texas Frontier Trails building new stage with plans for Sept. 20 performance
Texas Frontier Trails is, well, once again on the trail.Continued ...
Optimism in numbers: Proposed 2014-15 city budget maintains current tax rate, forecasts increased revenues in several areas
Next year's proposed budget seeds optimism for Mineral Well's growth.Continued ...
- Zombies take over downtown: Filming began Wednesday for apocalyptic movie ‘Daylight’s End’
- Local News
Weatherford teen dies following wreck near Brock
WEATHERFORD -- A 16-year-old Weatherford teen injured in a single-vehicle wreck near Brock last week died Tuesday afternoon at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner.
Jordan Paredes, reported by relatives to be in a coma following the wreck, was pronounced dead shortly after 2 p.m. in the trauma intensive care unit, the medical examiner reported.
Perrin FFA members attend Texas FFA convention in FW
Members from the Perrin FFA chapter attended the 86th annual Texas FFA State Convention held July 14-18 in Fort Worth.
Buffalo killer, store shoplifter targets of police, Crime Stoppers this week
Police are seeking leads on the death of a Mineral Wells man’s pet buffalo.
Five teens hospitalized after wreck near Brock
BROCK – Alcohol may have been involved in a wreck Wednesday near Brock that sent five teens to the hospital, including two with life-threatening injuries, according to information from the Texas Department of Public Safety.
- Weatherford teen dies following wreck near Brock
- Local Sports
From left, Taylor Gary, Paige Riney, Samantha Ashley and Meagan Waldrum capped off successful individual seasons to finish fifth in the girls 11-12 200-yard freestyle relay at the Region 4 Championship. They will join head coach Matt Williams at the TAAF state meet in College Station, July 31-Aug. 3, as the only youth swimmers representing Mineral Wells.
Swimming to State
KELLER – The Mineral Wells Water Moccasins are heading to the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation's state meet in College Station, July 31-Aug. 3, after an outstanding performance in the Region 4 Championships that saw seven local swimmer qualify.
Mineral Wells summer track sends 11 to state meet after strong regionals
THE COLONY – The future continues to look bright for Mineral Wells track and field, as 11 members of legendary head coach Jackie Harvey's summer track club punched their tickets to the TAAF state meet in College Station – to be held July 31-Aug. 3 – after a dominant showing at the regional meet in The Colony, July 18-19.
FWIW: Good, clean hate – Ranking the area's best rivalry games of the 2014 football season
By CLINT FOSTER
Football season is fast approaching and with it those glorious games between teams that love to hate each other, which we call rivalries.
I'm speaking, of course, about sports hate – the only beautiful kind. It's the stuff built on history and tradition that inspires simply the fiercest and most entertaining games of every season.
Palo Pinto County and the surrounding area have no shortage of fierce football rivalries.
The University Interscholastic League's realignment often causes new rivalries to be born and old ones to be rekindled. But which rivalries are the area's very best for 2014? The one's you circle your calendar for and make sure you don't miss.
I can think of at least 10.
So, for what it's worth, here's my list of the area's best, can't-miss football rivalries of the upcoming 2014 season.
Local Bowlers Roundup set for first weekend of August
Mineral Wells Women's Bowling Alliance invites you to join them Aug. 3 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Mountaineer Lanes for their second annual Bowlers Roundup. The event will feature snacks, tips from the pros, information on league bowling and two hours of great exercise.
- Swimming to State
Millsap ISD names Bean new elementary assistant principal
Millsap ISD has announced the selection of Roxie Bean as assistant principal for Millsap Elementary School. Millsap ISD trustees approved Bean’s selection at the regular meeting on June 23.
WC offers free college preparation through talent search grant
WEATHERFORD – Weatherford College is offering free college preparation through the Educational Talent Search Grant to the following schools: Bridgeport Middle School, Decatur Middle School, Jacksboro High School, Jacksboro Middle School, Tison Middle School, Mineral Wells High School, Mineral Wells Junior High, Santo High School, Santo Middle School, Hall Middle School, Springtown High School, Springtown Middle School, Weatherford High School and the Weatherford High School Ninth Grade Center.
Up close with MWJH student Kimberly Canales-Diego
Kimberly Canales-Diego is an outstanding seventh-grader at Mineral Wells Junior High School.
Link Field honors students with pancake breakfast
Link Field Services Inc. was the site of a pancake breakfast honoring Mineral Wells High School students Kandas Cain, Angel Ortiz, Ian Kurtz and Jake Mason.
- Millsap ISD names Bean new elementary assistant principal
- Online Only
Sheriff accused of lying about relationship with prostitute
The sheriff of Clark County, Ind., faces an eight-count federal indictment that accuses him of lying about paying a prostitute for a sex act and giving her a badge so that she could claim a discount rate at a hotel.
Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research
Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.
Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock
Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.
Sideshows involving Rice and Dungy stain NFL's image
Pro football training camps should be all about, well, football. But the talk around the NFL is about Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice's two-game suspension, Tony Dungy's indelicate remarks about Michael Sam and Jim Irsay's largesse. What kind of league is Roger Goodell running?
- Sheriff accused of lying about relationship with prostitute
PASTOR POPHIN: Jesus – the greatest joy of all
The first part of this week was a joyous one for me. I took 10 youth to Lake Mineral Wells State Park for three days of day camping. Camp Adventure was the name of the camp. We discovered the joy of the One who created us: Jesus.
RELIGION BRIEFS: VBS dates announced; Easters in concert
Sparks Spring Advent Christian and Perrin Community Christian announce upcoming Vacation Bible School dates, while Jeff and Sheri Easter concert in Jacksboro is Aug. 1.
PASTOR POPHIN: The joy of unity
Do you enjoy going to church? I mean, do you really enjoy going to church?
- PASTOR POPHIN: Jesus – the greatest joy of all