CRMWA to pump millions of gallons of water from Lake Meredith

In the next two months the water level at Lake Meredith is expected to drop about 6 inches after pumping water, and another 19 inches from evaporation.

Tuesday is the first day in two years the Canadian River Municipal Water Authority (CRMWA) can pump water from Lake Meredith, and for the next two months it plans to pump 10-million gallons of water each day.

Some residents aren't too happy with the decision. Gerald Purdy owns Chris's Kitchen in Fritch, and although he understands why the lake was built, he said the amount of water pumped should be limited. "When they weren't pumping water and when the levels were high, the lake generated a lot of money, and Fritch used to prosper from it," Purdy said.

For others it's all about the memories. "I'm absolutely against them pumping water, because I have memories of me being a kid, with my uncles and other family members in this exact lake," Chris Ellison said.

CRMWA General Manager Kent Satterwhite said unfortunately the lake wasn't built for recreational use in the first place.

"The reason that we're pumping from the lake is because that's the reason the lake is here," Satterwhite said. "The 11-member cities that paid for this lake and maintain it pay millions of dollars a year for this water supply, and when it's available that's what we're supposed to do."

According to Satterwhite the current lake level is at about 43 feet. In the next two months itâ??s expected to drop about 6 inches after pumping water, and another 19 inches from evaporation.

"We're pumping 10-million gallons a day, and I know that sounds like a lot, but it evaporates three times as much as we pump," Satterwhite said.

The water from Lake Meredith is being mixed in with groundwater before it hits the cities.

"Ten million is what we pump, and about 65 million is still from our wells, because that's all we can pump in order to stay within state drinking water standards," Satterwhite said.

The vote to allow CRMWA to start pumping was unanimous, and all cities except for Borger, as of right now, will benefit from what's pumped in the next two months.