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Brown Bag on the Brazos - April 2021

Brown Bag on the Brazos

Click on image above to watch Brown Bag

Q&A from Brown Bag

The Turkey Peak Reservoir is not a BRA-sponsored project. The Palo Pinto County Municipal Water District No. 1. is the owner, or sponsor, of the project. The district has provided a website with good information: http://www.turkeypeakreservoir.com. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2021. (updated 4.8.2021)

The BRA recently began an initiative to evaluate all BRA-owned properties from the southern end of the basin to north of Possum Kingdom Lake. This multi-year approach is aimed at making sure the BRA gets the full use of the properties and that they benefit our initiatives. The goal of the Property Master Plan is not to find ways to divest the properties but to prioritize and make sure the properties that we own are used to the best benefit of the BRA mission. Property management committee meetings will be held and posted here. For specific questions, email Blake Kettler. (updated 4.8.2021)

The hydroelectric facility at the Morris Sheppard Dam on Possum Kingdom Lake was designed to generate 24 megawatts of electricity. The facility was constructed and went into operation in the early 1940s. After 70 years, it was taken off-line in 2007 due to safety concerns with the plant’s penstocks and electrical malfunctions. After an extensive study to determine the economic feasibility of restoring the facility, it was discovered it wouldn’t be economical. At this time, the BRA is not seeking an opportunity to restore the facility. (updated 4.8.2021)

During the last legislative session, due to delays in the project, the legislature passed a bill that required our partner in the project, the city of Houston, to sell us their interest in the project. The price that was put on that was the amount they had in the project to date. Houston opposed that legislation, and once it was effective, the city sued the BRA and the state of Texas. That action has provided some delay to the beginning of the permitting process. The lawsuit could take a few years. However, the BRA is exploring options with our project partner to potentially at least begin the federal permitting required for that reservoir. The permitting process is expected to take five to seven years, and construction will take three to four years. Read more about the proposed reservoir here. (updated 4.8.2021)

The BRA was successful in having a provision included in the last Water Resources Development Act at the federal level that requires the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to expedite a reallocation study.

The BRA is currently navigating the administrative process with the Corps of Engineers to get the project started. We’re hoping within the next year the reallocation study begins. (updated 4.8.2021)

As part of the BRA’s System Operation Permit, there is a memorandum of understanding with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department related to dedication of water to the Texas Water Trust. One aspect regarding eflows (environmental flows) includes the BRA updating our System Operation Permit to include instream flow use as a use type before we can release water for environmental flows. The BRA continues to work with the Texas Parks and Wildlife to outline how water can be used for the benefit of environmental flows in the context of the system operations permit and the water management plan. (updated 4.8.2021)

The BRA does not release in anticipation of rainfall. Weather forecasts are just not precise enough to know when the rain is going to occur, where it’s going to occur and in what magnitude. If water was released in advance of a rainfall event, we could potentially make downstream river conditions more severe downstream and/or make flooding worse. On the flip side, if we release that water and it doesn’t rain, that’s water supply that’s potentially impacted. Also, the BRA has a PK-Granbury balancing protocol wherein we release water from PK downstream to balance impacts between PK and Granbury from a recreational standpoint. As we move into dryer conditions, you’ll see increases in the release rate from PK to manage the drawdown of those two reservoirs as a system. (updated 4.8.2021)

Restrooms were closed at all BRA Parks last March due to our Covid-19 restrictions to protect our staff from potential exposure to the virus. Instead, we provided Port-O-Johns that were replaced weekly.

The Centers for Disease Control have recently come out with new safety criteria regarding the transmission of Covid-19 that the BRA is considering. We hope to have an answer for when the restrooms will be reopened soon. We will make an announcement on our social media pages when they are reopened. (updated 4.8.2021)