(Editor’s Note: The above clip is a view of top headlines from the morning of June 14, 2023.)
AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – Most of the way through May, the major water reservoir for over half a million people around Texas was at its lowest point since August 2017, according to data from the United States Geological Survey.
Barely three weeks later, the water level at Lake Meredith was reported by the Texas Water Development Board to be at its highest in around 20 years.
Between May 18 and June 12, Lake Meredith saw its water level rise by over 10 and a half feet. According to released data, Lake Meredith shot up and surpassed its peak water level from 2022 by May 31, and had surpassed the peak water levels from the past five years in a row by June 5.
Noted by data recorded through TexMesonet, the High Plains region saw up to 10-15 inches of rain through the beginning of June, and up to 15-20 inches of rainfall in the month leading up to June 11.
While the US Army Corps of Engineers reported that the lake still stood at nearly 50 feet below its normal level as of June 12, with the conservation pool around 23% full, the water level increase may continue with persisting rains and as floodwaters are pumped out of residential areas such as in Amarillo and into the lake-connected Canadian River.
At its current depth of 78.73 feet, according to the Canadian River Municipal Water Authority, the lake appears to be further along in its recovery than ever from its record low of 26.14 feet in August 2013.
As previously reported on MyHighPlains.com, the Canadian River Municipal Water Authority supplies water to 11 member cities in the Texas Panhandle and the South Plains, as well as a few more indirectly, in large part through Lake Meredith. In Amarillo, for example, the city noted in its 2022 Water Quality Report that around 64% of the available drinking water came from the lake.
While amid the years-long drought conditions across the High Plains, the CRMWA has relied heavily on wells to supply its dependent communities, officials noted previously that continued additions to the lake will benefit the reliability of the water supply in the region.