The Brazos River Authority was the first agency in the country to be tasked with managing the water resources of an entire river basin.
The BRA water supply system includes 11 reservoirs scattered across the 42,000-square-mile river basin. Three of the man-made lakes were built, and are owned and operated, by the BRA. The other eight are owned and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The BRA reservoir system includes: Possum Kingdom Lake, Lake Granbury and Lake Limestone. In addition, a fourth reservoir, Allens Creek, is a state-permitted water storage reservoir planned for construction in the lower portion of the Brazos basin. The BRA also leases water supply storage from the federal government in lakes Proctor, Whitney, Aquilla, Belton, Stillhouse Hollow, Georgetown, Granger, and Somerville, which are owned and operated by the Corps.
The three BRA reservoirs were built for water supply, and as such, when full the lake level is near the top of each dam.
The Corps reservoirs however were built primarily for flood control, though are also used for water supply. When the water supply - or conservation pool - portion of the reservoir is full, there is additional room available to store water in the flood pool if needed.
The reservoirs also provide recreation opportunities with parks and boat ramp access. Each offers a range of amenities for visitors’ enjoyment, on the water or lakeside. BRA reservoirs include camping and picnic areas, boat ramps, playgrounds, restrooms and much more.
Recreation amenities at reservoirs run by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are available at a nominal fee for park and lake access. Recreation information for the Corps reservoirs located in the Brazos basin may be found here.
Despite a common misconception, none of the 11 reservoirs in the BRA System are “constant level.” Since they are used as a water supply source, the levels will fluctuate based on water needs and climatic conditions, such as during drought or periods of heavy rain.