Cedar Creek Reservoir manager speaks to Realtors, HCBOR elects new officers
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
GUN BARREL CITY–The Henderson County Board of Realtors named its new slate of officers for its new year.
The quarterly meeting tallied ballot results retaining current president Angie Tuley, vice president Brad Rummel, treasurer Robert McAtee Jr, secretary Marsha Bourne and director Gary McClaskey, who introduced the keynote speaker of its Wednesday luncheon at Hector’s Mexican Restaurant with much levity.
“We want to know who has pulled the plug on the lake,” McClaskey asked as he introduced answer-man Cedar Creek Reservoir manager Buckley Butler to a full room and attempted to sell tomatoes to audience members.
Butler said he has heard everything during his 30-year tenure. He reassured Realtors that he was raised in the area and graduated from Mabank High School and so was very well acquainted with every rumor known to man about the lake’s decreasing level.
One of the oddest rumors was from a man who wanted to be reassured that if the lake went down beyond a certain point that it would refill again, as he had heard that it wouldn’t.
“Let me put it this way,” Butler said. “It was empty when it was dug out, you can’t get much lower than that.”
He told how during two days in May, 1990, the rain events were so heavy that he had to let out 3½ times the volume of the reservoir over a two-day time span.
The only thing certain about this reservoir is that the lake level is constantly in flux, he said. Currently, the reservoir is about 6½ feet below normal pool level of 322.
On Sept. 10, Tarrant Regional Water District pumped 107 million gallons from the reservoir to supply its customers, mostly communities in the Fort Worth area. Its sister lake, Richland-Chambers (down 9.5 feet) is supplying 222 mg/d, he said.
The two reservoirs are part of a group of TRWD lakes that includes Eagle Mountain (down 6 feet) and Bridgeport (down 19.5 feet.) When these lakes’ capacities combined drop below 75 percent, the Drought Contingency Plan is initiated in stages.
It is now in Stage 3, calling for mandatory conservation measures and designated landscape watering to no more than twice weekly.
Butler said, he recently sent out 8,500 letters to lake front properties at Cedar Creek Reservoir to remind them of the mandated watering schedule, and reported how angry some people can become when told when they can and cannot water their lawns. He hopes the “Lawn Whisperer” media campaign will help residents embrace the importance of conserving.
“The less water used by everyone, the less will need to be pumped out of the lake,” he said. “Conservation really does make a difference.” He added that water used in fracking, makes up only 3 percent of the total water supply used.