Evaporation Suppression Result is Inconclusive - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Evaporation Suppression Result is Inconclusive

Results from the evaporation suppression project are in.

After city leaders gave the green light on the project in July 2014, crews were out on Lake Arrowhead every chance they got. 

“Since July was so wet we didn't apply in July,” Wichita Falls Public Works Director Russell Schreiber said, “So, basically we applied the product in August and September.”

During those months the boat would be out at the crack of dawn applying the evaporation suppressant.

“We didn't know what the results were going to be going in,” he said.

However, Schreiber said the product has worked in other places.

“The product is used in Australia and some other countries,” he said, “It's used in Las Vegas in some smaller recreational lakes.”

He said it had never been tested on a lake the size of Lake Arrowhead, until now.

“It's a lot different on a small 20 acre recreational lake versus a 6,000 acre lake with a 40 mile an hour wind,” Schreiber said.

He said even though the project is something people don't normally do, they had to try it.

Schreiber said, “We wanted to be able to tell our customers out there that we tried everything to extend the supply as long as we possibly could.”

The goal was to reduce evaporation.  He said evaporation is how the lakes lose most of their water.

“If you can reduce that by just a small percentage it's a significant amount of water that's saved and kept in the reservoirs,” he said.

After months of looking at the data collected, which the Water Development Board conducted, they gave officials the results.

“Basically what the study says that it looks like it worked.  There's a good probability that it worked, but we really need more data to definitively say that it worked,” Schreiber said.

Even though he said they don't have a number or a percentage to work with, he said it was worth it and he is glad they tried it.

Schreiber said, “I think all the information that we're getting from these projects, cloud seeding, evaporation suppressant, I think it's all very useful.”

He said they will talk to city council members about the results next month.  From there they will decide if they will continue using the evaporation suppressant or not.

Alexandra McClung, Newschannel 6
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