Lake Meredith water levels rise, expected to increase summer sales

Published: Jun. 6, 2023 at 9:34 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 6, 2023 at 10:20 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) -Water levels at Lake Meredith have risen 9 feet, up to a total of 77 feet.

“That’s 63,000 acre-feet of water, which is over four years’ worth of pumping for us. So that’s a significant amount of water,” says Drew Satterwhite, General Manager of The Canadian River Municipal Water Authority.

In other words, the recent rain supplied 4 years’ worth of water to the 11 cities that depend on Lake Meredith.

“The not-so-fun part of that statistic to talk about is that’s about a year and a half of evaporation, or four feet of pumping, we evaporate about three times more than we pump every year,” continues Satterwhite.

The Canadian River Municipal Water Authority is estimating the river reached levels it hasn’t seen since 1994.

CRMWA is watching Ute Lake in New Mexico; right now, Ute is about 5 feet from overflowing.

If and when it needs to be released, it will force more water into Lake Meredith, which CRMWA says would be beneficial.

Satterwhite adds, the Canadian River is still flowing but has subsided significantly. As for the future, he says it’s all up to mother nature.

Furthermore, businesses surrounding Lake Meredith are expecting more traffic.

“We do expect a record-breaking attendance at the park. I think last year we hit about 1.3 million entries into the park. I think we’re going to certainly exceed 1.5 million. It all surrounds the level of this lake,” says the owner and operator of Wright-On Bait, Tackle, and Watercraft Rentals, Dave Wright.

CRMWA says lake users are eager to take advantage of the recent rainfall.

“Everything we’ve heard from the locals is excitement so far. When the lake starts rising, people get excited and people start visiting, which is just a great thing for this area and region,” says Satterwhite.

Some small businesses, like Wright-On Bait, Tackle, & Watercraft Rentals, and Chris’s Kitchen in Fritch are ready to reap the rewards of the potential influx of customers.

“Business here rises a lot in general in the summertime, but especially when the lake is up,” says Abigail Garton, a waitress at Chris’s Kitchen.

“The level comes up, so does the number of people, it’s just that simple of an equation,” says Wright.

As far as Ute Lake needing to release water into the Candain River, further impacting Lake Meredith, we will keep you updated.