Medina Lake barely responding to recent rain

Deluge is needed to fill the resource back up

Author: John Honore, Meteorologist,
Published On: Jan 10 2013 06:10:55 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 10 2013 06:40:44 PM CST
MICO, Texas -

Water is finally flowing into Medina Lake.

"The gauge at Bandera was running about 50 cfs, and prior to this rainfall, it was running about 12 cfs," said Ed Berger, business manager of the Bexar Medina Atascosa Water District.

Over the last few days, between one and three inches rain fell in the upper Medina River basin, but it's just a drop in the bucket.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the lake came up roughly one-hundredth of a foot since the rain ended.

The lake is down roughly 60 feet from the fall of 2010, and the water level is now roughly 85 feet below the top of the dam.

"Conservation pool is 254,000 acre feet and right now, were at a little over 9 percent, or 23,000 acre feet. So you are looking at more than 220,000 acre feet of water to get to conservation pool, " Berger said.

By very rough calculations, somewhere between eight and 12 inches of rain would have to fall uniformly across most of Bandera County -- in a very short time -- to fill the lake up, and that's without letting any water out of the lake.

It doesn't necessarily have to take such an extreme event to get the lake back up, however.

"The lake was 38 feet down in March of 2007 and we had enough rain events that in July (2007) we were in our emergency action plan because (water) was 4 feet over the spillway, " Berger said.

In the meantime, unless the lake comes up before the growing season in the spring, the BMA will not be releasing any water from the lake for farming irrigation, and the amounts that the San Antonio Water System takes out for it's customers will be curbed as well.