The recent rainfall is a welcome addition to a still parched Texas, but it is not yet enough to quench Lake Lavon.
Lake Lavon is currently only 79 percent full, and although it is a sign of progress from eight months ago, the lake still has a long way to go to return to pre-drought levels, when water capacity topped 90 percent.
The government is well aware of the dangers Lake Lavon and the state of Texas still face. Governor Rick Perry had renewed his declaration Jan. 5 prolonging Texas’s disaster zone stance, allowing local municipalities to receive state aid in dealing with the extended effects of the drought. The National Weather Service expects the drought in Collin County to persist at least until May 31, with only slight improvement.
Despite the dry forecast, the lake is filling up. The single worst day of the drought for the lake, Nov. 19, 2011, saw water levels sinking to 47% capacity. By this time 213 of Texas’s 254 counties had already been labeled as disaster areas for five months. Since then, however, the water levels have steadily increased due to more-than-expected precipitation.
Not wanting to compromise any growth in water levels, the North Texas Municipal Water District, of which Lucas is a part of, has extended Stage 3 water restrictions until June 1, 2012. Under these restrictions, residents are only allowed to water their lawns twice a month.
“We must all work together to make our limited water supplies last until sufficient rainfall can refill our reservoirs and all of our water supplies are fully accessible,” the NTMWD said in a press release issued Jan. 26. “Thank you for doing your part.”
Recent rainfall, however light, has made an impact on the water levels. A three-day storm during the end of January led to a staggering increase of thirteen percentage points in water levels at Lake Lavon.
Lucas and Allen residents are still treading water, with sustainable capacity in the 90-percent range looming farther in the distance. But with more rains like those recently and more conservation, it may not be quite as ominous driving over the lake as it was last summer.