NWS says “they could practically feel the lake water evaporating” at Falcon — Levels Now Below 10%

Pablo De La Rosa
2 min readAug 4, 2022

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Falcon Lake | NWS Brownsville

As water restrictions are now in effect for Brownsville, Mcallen, Mission, and San Benito in the Rio Grande Valley — and Zapata County continues to struggle to provide water to its residents — The National Weather Service in Brownsville paid a visit to Falcon Lake on Wednesday.

Note: An updated version of this story can be found on the Texas Public Radio website here: Water restrictions increase along the scorched border as Falcon Reservoir steadily fades

“On a brutally hot day at Falcon Dam and State Park, two of our meteorologists witnessed some of the lowest lake levels on record,” NWS Brownsville tweeted.

The tweet reports that levels are now below 10% at Falcon International Reservoir.

Most municipalities don’t yet have official announcements on water restrictions, but more jurisdictions are currently preparing to announce them.

An anonymous source at a local organization involved in water I spoke to this week said that they’ve, “been having tons of meetings and phone calls on what to put in the flyers and letters that we’re going to be sending out about conserving water — how to get the messaging out, anticipating questions and prepping responses.”

They’re also apparently getting “a lot of pressure and blowback from corporations and wealthy customers.”

Related to local readiness, KRGV published the following quote from The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Commissioner Bobby Janecka last week:

“A lot of the entities in Texas who are pulling out and brushing off the drought conservation plan that they provided to us, and have to update on a five-year basis, at least, many may be unfortunately finding where they didn’t put as much time into the planning difficult decisions before them in drafting a plan. Those tough questions are still waiting to be answered today.”

An NWS Brownsville tweet from Saturday shows the data behind what people are seeing at the Reservoir.

“Water levels are…lowest since the late 1990's,” says the NWS Tweet.

“Only a tropical event can help.”

For more stories from the Rio Grande Valley from Pablo De La Rosa, you can can follow him on Twitter or check out his linktree.

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Pablo De La Rosa

Pablo De La Rosa reports statewide with Texas Public Radio and nationally with NPR from the Texas-Mexico border, from where he originates.