Let it flow from Lake Meredith?

News that the Texas Panhandle’s leading water authority is going to resume pumping water from Lake Meredith leaves me with decidedly mixed feelings.


The lake is up to 41 feet, about 15 feet higher than its lowest ebb during the late winter months. Lake Meredith now measures 2 percent full, according to state water planners, compared to the zero percent it was registering.

The Canadian River Municipal Water Authority is going to blend lake water with well water underground. The idea is to relieve pressure on the Ogallala Aquifer.

OK. So is it time to tap the lake?

Two percent capacity still isn’t very much, correct? What’s more, the drought that has held in this chokehold for the past four to five years isn’t letting up. Amarillo remains right about at normal precipitation to date for the year. A few weeks of prolonged dryness in these parts and we’ll see counties resuming burn bans.

The water planners at CRMWA are smarter than I am about these things, so I guess I should accept that they know what they’re doing by deciding to pump water from Lake Meredith.

As a layperson who’s watched the lake evaporate over the nearly two decades my wife and I have lived here, it’s a bit troubling to see CRMWA acting so quickly to tap into a water supply that — as we have learned to our dismay — is a finite resource.

Then again, if it relieves pressure on the aquifer, which is another finite resource, then the region’s thirst for water will remain quenched.

Oh, these conflicting emotions about water.