Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Canyon Lake Dam - 12/25/12

Tuesday – December 25, 2012

Tuesday – December 25, 2012

This is our last day at the Potters Creek Park Campground in Canyon Lake, Texas. It is a sunny day with the temperature in the high 50’s, but quite windy with wind gusts up to 45 mph. We decided we would enjoy the sunny day, despite the wind, and visit the Canyon Lake Dam. Much to our surprise, several other people decided to also visit the dam. It was quite interesting to see so many people visiting this dam on Christmas day. Of further interest to us, our vehicle was the only one there with out-of-state license plates.

Canyon Lake is a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reservoir formed on the Guadalupe River by a 0.8 mile long earth-filled dam. The height of the dam is approximately 200 feet. It is located about sixteen miles northwest of New Braunfels, Texas.

In the early part of the 19th century, the lower Guadalupe River Basin below the current location of Canyon Lake had been especially subject to serious flooding. Due to the need to lower the flooding issues, Congress authorized the construction of Canyon Lake Dam. The dam and lake was to serve two purposes: flood control and water conservation.

Construction of Canyon Dam began in 1958 on mile 303 of the Guadalupe River. The dam was finished in 1964 and water impoundment began. The lake was dedicated in 1966. The lake filled to conservation pool level by 1968. To date, it has been estimated that millions of dollars in flood damage has been averted from several major flood events in the area.

The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (BBRA) is the local agency with rights to the water in the conservation pool of the lake. The Authority contributed to the construction costs and currently pays the U.S. Government annually for the portion of operation and maintenance costs attributed to the conservation pool water. The water is used to operate several small hydroelectric plants downstream from New Braunfels. It is also used by the GBRA for municipal water supply, irrigation, and industrial uses. GBRA began construction of a hydroelectric facility at Canyon Dam in August 1987; it was first put into service in February 1989.

We returned to our campsite in the late afternoon with the temperature continually dropping, due the cold front that was approaching out of the north. During the night the wind continued to howl with the temperature dropping into the high 20’s. We spent a cozy night inside our trailer, which was gently rocking from the force of the blowing wind.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

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