SEGUIN, Texas – The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) is continuing discussions on how to mitigate safety risks to recreationalists downstream of its four remaining hydroelectric lakes. One option to significantly lower lakes McQueeney, Placid, Meadow, and Gonzales by up to 12 feet was discussed at the GBRA board of directors meeting Wednesday, July 17, 2019, in Seguin.
“While no decision was made today regarding the best way to ensure public safety on the lakes, GBRA’s concerns remain,” said Kevin Patteson, GBRA general manager. “The video of the Dunlap spillgate collapse validates our concerns, and we are not willing to risk lives should there be another spillgate failure.”
GBRA experienced spillgate failures at Lake Wood in 2016 and Lake Dunlap in May 2019. The six hydroelectric dams were built in the late 1920s and early 1930s, and are at the end of their useful life.
The board of directors did vote to conduct additional engineering inspections at Lake Dunlap in an effort to identify the cause and point of failure of the spillgate collapse and how that information can be applied to the gates at the other hydro dams.
GBRA will continue to work with county and state law enforcement to identify public safety strategies that can be implemented to reduce the risk of danger to recreationalists. Ample public notice will be provided in advance prior to any changes to lake level elevations.
The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority was established by the Texas Legislature in 1933 as a water conservation and reclamation district. GBRA provides stewardship for the water resources in its 10-county statutory district which begins near the headwaters of the Guadalupe and Blanco rivers, ends at San Antonio Bay, and includes Kendall, Comal, Hays, Caldwell, Guadalupe, Gonzales, DeWitt, Victoria, Calhoun and Refugio counties.
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