West Texas Water Supplier Nearly Dry

Nick Lawton
NewsWest 9

LAKE SPENCE - Lake E. V. Spence, one of the Colorado River Municipal Water District's water supplies to West Texas cities like Midland, Odessa, Snyder and Big Spring, is nearly gone.

"It's pretty scary when you go down and look at Spence today," CRMWD General Manager, John Grant, said.

Lake Spence is now less than 2% full and has been given only weeks until it's closed for pumping.

"We can do that maybe another four, five, or six weeks with no inflow," Grant said. "We can go down another two-and-a-half or three feet. Then we will have pumped all the water out of Spence that we can get."

NewsWest 9 traveled out to the lake, and after just one look, the damage was all too real.

The layers of smooth sand on the lake shore showed where the water level used to be but the current water level had sunk below multiple layers of sand where the different tides had once been.

Without Lake Spence, the CRMWD will turn to the O. H. Ivie Reservoir for the Basin's water.

The Ivie currently sits at 28% full, but with no rain, it's predicted to be dried up too by December 2012.

So Wednesday morning, the CRMWD Board of Directors voted unanimously to construct a parallel pipeline pumping groundwater in from Ward County.

"Basically our last source of supply that we have, which is our groundwater out in Ward County out by Monahans," Grant explained. "We'll actually be substituting groundwater from Ward County for the water we're pumping in from the Spence reservoir."

There's no telling how soon that Ward County water will be able to help, but Grant told NewsWest 9, it's the next step to keeping water flowing into West Texas.

Otherwise there's the hope that Mother Nature will bring the rain to refuel the Basin's water.