Silt and Sediment Could be Shrinking Lakes

As lake levels continue to fall in Lake Kickapoo and Lake Arrowhead, there are new questions about how accurate our current levels are. The city of Wichita Falls could be turning to the Army Corps of Engineers for help.

Silt and sediment have been slowly seeping into the lake for years and that build up can effect how much water the lake can hold. Hydrographic surveys conducted by the Army are used to map the bottom of lakes to determine how much sediment has built up. Arrowhead was last surveyed in 2000, Kickapoo in 2001.

Texas Game Warden Eddie Hood said, "It's going to be your top soil and things such as that. Hopefully with the improved farming and ranching practices over the years we don't have as much silt as what there has been you know previously in time."

Public Utilities Operations Manager Daniel Nix said the surveys are routinely done every 10-15 years. He said lakes rarely gain capacity, meaning they expect to see no change, or a slight loss of overall capacity.

On August 7th the Wichita Falls City Council will consider striking an agreement with the Army Corps of Engineers to survey the lakes. Under the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 1974 the Corps can assist communities with the funding for surveys. Under the act, the city must provide 50% of the funding, nearly $43,000.

Getting the necessary paperwork started could make it more likely for the state to approve financial aid. If for some reason the funding does not come through, then the agreement between the city and the Corps would be void.

Jack Lamson, Newschannel 6