BMA to reduce Medina Lake water usage

Water district taking measures to preserve drought-stressed resource

Author: John Honoré, Meteorologist,
Published On: Jan 05 2012 10:00:00 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 06 2012 01:20:52 AM CST
Medina Lake conservation
NATALIA, Texas -

Medina lake is at its lowest level in more than 15 months.

"The level is just over 50ft low at the time. Its probably about 22 or 23 percent of its capacity," said Ed Berger, business manager for the Bexar-Medina-Atascosa Water District (BMA), the agency responsible for managing the amount of water in the lake.

The lake current is holding just under 60,000 acre feet of water. In a normal year, the BMA would extract 46,000 acre feet for agricultural irrigation, and additional 20,00 acre feet for municipal use by the City of San Antonio.

Doing the math, that would completely drain the lake if no additional water flowed into the Medina River basin.

Because the lake is so low, the BMA says they are going to severely limit the amount of water they take out of here for irrigation.

"We're only allowing 10,00 acre feet to be sold to the farmers," Berger said.

Another restriction the BMA has implemented is that the water wont be available until after March 1st.

The drought has made these conservation efforts necessary, but farmers, who's livelihood depends on being able to adequately water their crops, are hoping for a change in the weather.

"They're taking a chance on hoping its going to rain, or something is going to change.

They know they're going to have one shot to get one watering in here, and through that seven or eight week period that we pull that water that something will change," Berger said.

You can see a slideshow of images taken on Jan. 5 of Medina Lake here.