Last Thursday, the Guadalupe Brazos River Authority (GBRA) officially announced the closure and draining of multiple lakes in Gonzales and Guadalupe Counties, including Lake Gonzales, due to irreparable dams under their jurisdiction. All four remaining lakes will be drained beginning with Lake Gonzales on Sept. 16. This comes after we’ve already seen the complete failure of the dams at Lake Wood in 2016 and Lake Dunlap earlier this year.
These lakes provide recreation benefit, not just to those living on them, but to the thousands of Texans who visit them every year. Leaving them without water ultimately affects families, businesses, and property values for those who have relied on the dams, as they built their homes and their lives around these lakes.
I understand how important these lakes are to the community, and I am committed to finding a solution. This last legislative session I fought for funding for this issue, and ultimately, we came up short in the Senate. I also drafted and helped pass language requiring the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) to study the issue of failed dams in Texas and specifically dams similar to those operated by GBRA. To date, TWDB has not been able to identify any other dams in the entire state in similar disrepair. This is a unique problem in the state, and one that will require state intervention to find a solution.
To date, our conversations and meetings have included GBRA, Texas Water Development Board, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Congressman Michael Cloud’s office, Friends of Lakewood, Gonzales County, City of Gonzales, and others.
This will remain a top priority to my office until both Lake Wood and Lake Gonzales dams are repaired. If you have any questions, please contact Jeff Miller at Jeff.Miller@house.texas.gov or 512-463-1974.