The city of Graham is now in its second month of stage two water restrictions, and current drought conditions render a quick recovery improbable.
Lakes Graham and Eddleman are currently at 52.9 percent capacity, down from 75.9 percent last December, 66.2 percent six months ago, and 53.9 percent in November, according to waterdatafortexas.org.
“The majority of the water loss is due to evaporation, and not water use,” Public Works Administrator David Casteel said. “There’s not a whole lot of ways to control that other than some rain and some cloud cover.”
Data from the Texas Water Development Board shows that Lakes Graham and Eddelman had 64.6 inches of evaporation in 2011 and 52.73 inches in 2012. This water loss combined with infrequent rain is a primary concern as the area continues to deal with the ongoing drought situation.
There have been several multi-day periods of rain in the past three months, but the amounts needed to bring Graham and Young County out of extreme drought conditions have not yet occurred. From 1950 to 2012, the average rainfall in Young County was 29.13 inches.
1990 had the highest amount at 50.44 inches, while 2011 had the lowest at 12.08 inches.
“To me, we’re still recovering from 2011, is what we’re doing,” Casteel said. “Our rainfall was below average in 2012, but it wasn’t extreme below average. 2011 was extreme below average.”
So far residents have gone beyond meeting the requirements of stage two restrictions, according to Casteel.
Read the entire story in Wednesday's edition of The Graham Leader.