Wednesday 1 October 2014
 

Lake level continues to drop, but far from record

 

Low water level prompts antique boat group  to cancel Sunday show

   Clear Lake’s low water level has taken a toll on more than a few boat propellers this season.  Now, it’s hitting the event calendar.
    The 17th Annual Clear Lake Antique and Wooden Boat Rendezvous scheduled for Sunday at the Sea Wall has been cancelled this year due to the low water level, explained Libbey Patton, director of tourism for the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce.  The wooden, aluminum and fiberglass boats built from the 1920’s-1960’s were to have been displayed on land and in the water, but according to Patton, organizers simply felt the risk of damage to the boats was too great.

    On Tuesday, July 17, officials at the Water Treatment Plant who check the water level weekly measured the level of the lake as 16.56 inches below the weir.    The measurement is a far cry from the lake’s record low of 46.20 inches below the weir, set in 1989, the stretches of sandy beaches which now encompass the lake are dredging up memories for many Clear Lakers.
    The staff at the Mirror-Reporter report that readers are calling and stopping in with their own tales of lake lows-- and woes.  Memories of  service organizations doing beach cleanings and of long docks never reaching the water’s edge are common.  A look back into the Mirror-Reporter archives reminded us that the popular Lake Level, reported each week on the front page, originated in 1989 in response to the public’s interest.
    Clear Lake City employees have tracked the water level since the 1950s.  And like the newspaper, the city’s Public Works Department is getting flooded with calls from those wanting a water level update.
    “We get questions--bunches of them-- on a daily basis,” said Greg Farwell, water plant superintendent.  Farwell said he wasn’t aware of the interest in the lake’s level, as well as ice-in and ice-out dates when he took the job in March 2010, but he has quickly become educated.  He and his staff guard the “black book” which contains the historical lake levels.  A quick look back in the book reveals levels dating back to 1951.  Prior to the 1989 record low, the - Read More Via e-Edition