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Neighbors in Bell County are asked to use 10 percent less water

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Posted at 5:28 PM, Mar 29, 2024

BELTON, Texas — “Indirectly we are affected because there are just more people out and about when the lake is being utilized more,” said Jim Hightower, Owner of Dead Fish Grill.

Jim Hightower is the owner of Dead Fish Grill, which sits right off Lake Belton with a great view of the reservoir.

As the lake levels rise and fall, so does the flow of customers into his business.

“The core engineers who manage the land surrounding the lake is more app to close the parks and boat ramps which greatly reduces the public's utilization of the lake,” Hightower said.

Right now, the water levels at Lake Belton are about 3.5 feet higher than they were at the start of last summer. On the other hand, Stillhouse Hollow Lake is 4 feet below normal lake levels.

“This time of year, when it’s cool, especially if we have had rain locally it is easy to think we have plenty of water, but the truth is it’s limited,” said Richard Garrett, General Manager, Bell County WCID 1.

Both Lake Belton & Stillhouse Hollow Lake are considered to be in a critical stage, resulting in Stage 2 drought conditions from the Brazos River Authority. This means you and our neighbors in Bell County are being asked to use 10 percent less water to help fight the drought.

“We’re still growing in this part of Texas so it’s going to continue to be limited especially when we are in droughts like we are now,” Garrett said.

With summer fast approaching, our meteorologist Caleb Chevalier told me it's too early to tell if drought conditions will return. But water quality should not be unaffected.

“From a water standpoint the lake quality is still very good even under the low lake conditions,” Garrett said.