Sunday, July 6, 2014

Anhual Trashing of Twin Buttes: Pattern Repeats

I toured the city maintained park at Twin Buttes Reservoir this morning and saw vistas of July 4th trash.  I drove through the Old Mariina parking lot, past its bare concrete foundation.  The volume of trash was staggering.  It looked like the two volunteers bagging fireworks refuse felt similarly.  It brought back memories of my picking up shoreline trash in the late 1990's and early 2000's.

As I neared the covered picnic benches trash volume increased exponentially.  From the loop's beginning to the new boat ramp garbage was everywhere.  Campers remained in their spots, seeming surrounded by trash.

I don't know how many people stayed all weekend in an area with no electricity, no water and no bathrooms, but there were hundreds there Friday early evening. 

The City received funds to install bathrooms with the new boat ramp grant.  It never did.  The City paid for a consultant to conduct a Master Recreation Plan for Twin Buttes but there has been no progress since public input was given in 2012.

I've seen the city do one thing since kicking off this study, install pipe railing to restrict citizen access.

Otherwise, it's business as usual at Twin Buttes.  That's not change

Update 7-7-14:  San Angelo Live ran a story on lakeside trash from July 4th.  One resident said the trash at Twin Buttes was the worst he'd ever seen.  Not what you'd expect under a newly adopted Master Plan.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Twin Buttes on July 4th

A quick tour of the South Pool at Twin Buttes revealed the lake to be up roughly ten feet from the last time I visited (before May's runoff rains).  The caliche road to the South Pool was rutted and I saw the first damaged gate, pulled over by four wheelers.

Water flowed through the Equalization Channel and I saw standing water where the pipes had been.

Due to water levels and pipe railing there is very little drivable shore access on the North side of the South Pool.  It was great seeing so much water.  The elevation stood at just over 1927 feet.

The drive to the North Pool took me past Lake Nasworthy.  Thousands staked out prime spots for this evening's fireworks display.  I passed two fireworks stands on Highway 67.  Business looked brisk.

At the city maintained park at Twin Buttes North Pool I saw hundreds of people, some already shooting off fireworks.  People were spread out across the park.  Some set up in the Old Marina parking lot, others used the covered picnic table areas, while many parked in the new boat ramp lot.  Another set ringed the shore across from the island.

The city had one large dumpster in the Marina lot and another in the boat ramp parking area.  We'll see how many use it.

Historically, July 4th has been the annual trashing of Twin Buttes.  Will the pattern repeat?

Monday, June 9, 2014

South Pool Flow Beats Pumping

The amount of natural flow from Twin Buttes South Pool exceeds that of three rented pumps.

The pumps' diesel tanks wait for removal at the end of the paved section as one drives to the South Pool after crossing the Equalization Channel.

Add the bump from rain the last two days and the flow should last a bit longer.

Accessing the South Pool might be a challenge for those without four wheel drive.

The good news is the North Pool has water, lots of it.  I windsurfed Saturday, perfectly rigged for the gusts with a 6.0 sail and a 130 liter F2 shortboard.  I realized I'd missed the rollers that develop with a longer fetch.  The water was comfortable, but seemed darker than before.  Debris ringed the shoreline.

In the midst of all that was new and old, I felt an incredible peace, a deep satisfaction.  It felt like home.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Twin Buttes' Massive Increase?

Either the news is much better than I thought or the Standard Times had a typo.  I'm hoping for the former. The Texas Water Development Board has Twin Buttes with 16,635 acre feet.  I thought this data only included the North Pool.  Adding the South Pool's roughly 5,000 acre feet gets Twin Buttes to the 21,500 acre foot level.  It's something to celebrate.    

Friday, May 30, 2014

North Pool Looking Good

Twin Buttes North Pool keeps rising, ever so slowly.  A few days ago the Equalization Channel looked like the old days.

Here's the view from the North Pool's Finbuster Beach on May 27th.  The North Pool is at least a foot higher since this picture was taken:

I'll be able to windsurf the North Pool again.  For that I am grateful.

Update 6-10-14:  The North Pool is over 1899 feet elevation!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Spring Creek Didn't Rise Like 2012

One oddity arose out of our area's recent runoff rains.  Why didn't Spring Creek rise like its counterparts during our five day rain event.  Dove Creek and the Middle Concho River had much different flow:

Here's how Spring Creek looked in September 2012 after Tropical Storm Norman's moisture hit our area.  Its flow was over seven times greater in that flood event.

I believe a factor is diversion of the Lopez draw, which runs into Spring Creek.  An oilfield water seller drilled wells and excavated smack in the middle of the draw.

When the City of San Angelo explored capturing water from the Red Arroyo, consultants stated the state of Texas controlled water flowing through a conveyance, a place where water flows intermittently.  I assume Lopez Draw is like the Red Arroyo and the state would've needed to approve any efforts to capture the water. I doubt that occurred and suspect changes in Spring Creek flow to be indicative of diversion. 

North Pool's Rise Nearly Sixteen Feet

Most recent instantaneous value read 1,898.04 on 05-29-2014 at 17:45 CDT.  That's a sixteen foot rise from 1882.